The Department of Labor has proposed revisions to its model forms under the Family and Medical Leave Act, with the stated purpose of increasing compliance, improving customer service, and making the forms easier to use. According to the DOL, the revisions include the following:

  • Fewer questions requiring written responses; replaced by statements that can be verified by simply checking a box
  • Reorganization of medical certification forms to more quickly determine if a medical condition is a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA
  • Clarifications to reduce the demand on health care providers for follow-up information
  • More information on the notification forms to better communicate to employees specific information about leave conditions
  • Changes to the qualifying exigency certification form to provide clarity to employees about what information is required
  • Changes to the military caregiver leave forms to improve consistency and ease of use
  • Layout and style changes to reduce blank space and improve readability.

While the proposed forms provide greater clarity and ease of completion, they will likely not eliminate all the concerns that employers have with regard to incomplete or insufficient certifications. Nonetheless, they appear to be a significant improvement over the current, rather confusing forms.

Comments to the proposed rule may be submitted here. Once the 60-day comment period has closed on October 4, 2019, the agency will review the comments and may revise the rules before issuing them in final form.