If you are using the certification and notice forms published by the Department of Labor (DOL), it is time for an update! At the end of March, the DOL published new forms that are effective through 2018. The most significant change to the medical-related certification forms is the addition of references to and instruction under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Note that the GINA instructions on the DOL's certification forms are not as detailed as the "safe harbor" language currently being used by many employers. The "new" Notice of Eligibility & Rights and Responsibilities also contains a few more details than the old form and some of the terminology in the Military Caregiver Leave certifications has been updated. The Designation Notice and the certification of a Qualifying Exigency have not changed beyond updating the effective date to 2018.

The new forms can be found on the DOL's website. Remember that employers are not required to use the forms issued by the DOL—you may find that your tailored forms are administratively easier for you and/or are better understood by your employees or the medical providers. As long as you are not asking more than what is permitted by the DOL forms and the accompanying regulations, you can continue to use your tailored forms.