Late last month, the Department of Labor released new versions of FMLA notices and forms, which are available by clicking here. These new notices and forms are good through May 31, 2018. Employers covered by the FMLA may (but are not required to) use these standardized forms when handling employee requests for FMLA-covered leave. The only real substantive change on the forms is the updated disclaimer regarding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). GINA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their genetic information and, by extension, prohibits employers from gathering the genetic information of employees or that of employees’ family members. Some ways that employers have unwittingly violated GINA are by collecting family medical history information or by demanding too much detail regarding ailments on FMLA applications or fitness-for-duty evaluations required prior to returning from leave.
While helpful, these forms are not always a “one-size-fits-all” fix. Now is the appropriate time to have an employment attorney review your forms, notices, and the implementation policies and procedures you use for employee FMLA requests to ensure your companies' compliance.