• More Than 50 Employee? Update your FMLA Poster and Policies
  • March 14, 2013 | Author: Karen S. Elliott
  • Law Firm: Sands Anderson PC - Richmond Office
  • In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued new regulations along with an updated poster requirement and new forms. March 8, 2013, is the effective date for the new regulations as well as posting the new poster and using the new forms.

    The new regulations:

    • Modify Qualified Exigency Leave, by changing the definition of “active duty” to “covered active duty.” This means that only those whose related service members are being deployed to a foreign country are covered for a qualifying exigency leave. On the other hand, it expands the type of activities that will be subject to FMLA leave for qualified military families. In addition, the length of time an eligible family member may take for “Rest and Recuperation” is expanded from five days to up to a maximum of 15 days.

    • Expand the definition of military caregiver leave to provide for as much as 26 weeks of leave in 12 months for eligible employees who are caring for covered veterans as well as covered services members.

    • Clarify the application of the FMLA to airline personnel and flight crews.

    • Confirm an employer’s FMLA record keeping must comply with confidentiality obligations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) .

    • Clarify the rules for calculation of intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave. The clarifying language formalizes the DOL’s position that the employer may not require an employee to take more leave than necessary to address the circumstances that caused the need for leave, and that the leave must be tracked using the smallest increment of time used for other forms of leave, subject to a one-hour maximum. The regulations also confirm that FMLA leave may only be counted against FMLA entitlement for leave taken and not for time that is worked for the employer (thus, if the employee is working at home while on FMLA leave, the time worked must not be counted).

    The DOL has posted a helpful comparison chart that details the specific changes.

    In addition, there is a new I-9 Form that employers should be using to verify employment eligibility.