The Department of Labor has issued guidance for employers on the FMLA. The Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act attempts to walk employers through the FMLA process, starting with determining who is a covered employer and going through employer obligations when employees request leave. The Guide should be a valuable resource for employers. One of the most helpful items in the guide is the “roadmap.”

I deal with a lot of questions about the FMLA from employers on a daily basis. In many cases, employers have jumped ahead to trying to grant the leave before first determining eligibility of the employee for leave. The roadmap is a reminder to go through the process first of determining if the employer is a covered employer and second if the employee is actually eligible for leave. Employers are often confused whether the employee needs leave for a qualifying reason. However, there are times that employers do not realize that an employee is not eligible for leave because the employee has not worked enough hours or does not work in a covered location.

The FMLA is definitely not easy to understand, so hopefully, this guide will help. Of course, when in doubt, employers should consult with legal counsel.

The DOL also announced that soon employers will be required to display a new FMLA poster. The poster has not been issued yet but according to the DOL is not really new information; rather it is supposedly a more “user friendly” version. We will update you when the poster is issued.