Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the release of new optional forms for administering the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While the DOL’s specific forms are not required, they are widely used by employers to ensure compliance with the law. The new FMLA forms can be found here. According to the DOL, however, employers can also still use the old FMLA forms.
The new forms are broken into two types – Notice Forms and Certification Forms. The Notice Forms are updated to include any recent changes to the applicability of the FMLA and consist of the following:
- General Notice (i.e., the FMLA poster)
- Eligibility Notice, form WH-381
- Rights and Responsibilities Notice, form WH-381
- Designation Notice, form WH-382
The Certification Forms are optional tools for employers to use to request information to support certain FMLA-qualifying reasons for leave. The new Certification Forms are broken into five categories, depending on the type of leave being requested:
- Employee’s serious health condition, form WH-380-E
- Family member’s serious health condition, form WH-380-F
- Military Qualifying Exigency, form WH-384
- Military Caregiver Leave of a Current Servicemember, form WH-385
- Military Caregiver Leave of a Veteran, form WH-385-V
The DOL’s release stated the new forms are intended to be easier to understand for employers, employees, and healthcare providers and take less time to complete. Notably, the new forms contain more questions that require checking a box rather than narrative responses. In addition, the form provide for electronic signatures in order minimize the need for in-person visits to secure hand-written signatures. Overall, the substance of the new forms and the information they are intended to provide went largely unchanged from the old forms, though the new forms appear to be more effective at eliciting information from healthcare providers regarding future medical treatments.
Employers should note that employees who completed the old FMLA form do not need to provide an updated medical certification on the new form. Rather, the new forms can be used for FMLA leaves going forward.
If you have any questions about this Legal Update, please contact Attorney Joel S. Aziere at 262-364-0250 or email@example.com, Attorney Brett D. Schnepper at 262-364-0262 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or your Buelow Vetter attorney