Last month, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued revisions to certain Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations that relate to: (1) the FMLA’s military leave amendments; and (2) new FMLA eligibility and recordkeeping requirements for flight crew employees. These rules take effect on March 8, 2013.
The New Regulations
Among other things, the new regulations:
- Address certain expansions of qualifying exigency leave;
- Increase the time an eligible employee may take for the exigency leave reason of rest and recuperation from five to 15 days;
- Include pre-existing injuries or illnesses in the definition of a serious injury or illness under military caregiver leave;
- Define “covered veteran” and “serious injury or illness” of a covered veteran;
- Increase the list of authorized healthcare providers from whom an employee may obtain certification of a service member’s serious injury or illness; and
- Permit employers to request second and third opinions for military caregiver leave (not previously authorized) in certain limited situations.
The DOL also updated the written notice that covered employers are required to post in a conspicuous place and provide to employees. Covered employers must use this new posting effective immediately.
New Model Forms
Finally, the DOL revised several of its model FMLA forms and added a new medical certification form for military caregiver leave due to a serious illness or injury of a veteran. The forms are available on the DOL’s website. To the extent you intend to use these DOL forms, we suggest adding safe harbor language to comply with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.