By Kelly J. Rundell
Employers with Family Medical Leave programs should be aware that the U. S. Department of Labor has issued new, easier-to-read forms. Using the DOL’s model forms is optional because employers can develop their own forms that seek the same information.
The new model Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities form is much longer than the previous version, partially due to larger print and more check boxes to be completed. It is, however, well-organized and provides a better explanation of how employer-provided paid leave and FML can run concurrently.
The model medical certification forms have also been revised. Although the forms have more boxes for the health care provider to complete, they also seek the best estimate of when the employee can return to work. The forms clarify that FML leave is available for prenatal care and delivery, but not maternity leave. Additionally, they include definitions of serious health conditions. Significantly, the forms clearly allow the health care provider to check a box that there is no serious health condition.
The DOL has also updated the model Designation Notice. It has also doubled in length, but includes return to work requirements and provides information on concurrent accrued leave and FML. These forms also give space for employers to explain missing or insufficient information and the deadline for providing it.
All of the new forms have an expiration date of June 30, 2023 and are available on the Department of Labor website, https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/forms