On April 26, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a guide to assist employers required to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This guide is similar to the guide issued several years ago for employees. The guide is 76 pages long and is quite comprehensive. A copy of the guide is available here.

The guide is a good tool for employers and serves as notice as to how the DOL views certain issues arising under the FMLA. The guide includes seven chapters:

  1. Covered employers under the FMLA and their general notice obligations;
  2. When an employee needs FMLA leave;
  3. Qualifying reasons for leave;
  4. The certification process;
  5. Military family leave;
  6. During an employee’s FMLA leave; and
  7. FMLA prohibitions.

The guide also includes a section titled “Did you know?,” which addresses some of the more technical provisions of the FMLA.

While the guide may assist employers in understanding some of the complexities of the FMLA, it does not have the force of law. Rather, the guide is a reflection of the DOL’s position on particular issues. Accordingly, it is important to seek assistance from legal counsel to distinguish between the DOL’s position and the law.

The DOL also published a new FMLA poster which is available here. The new poster contains most of the same information published on the previous poster, although it is organized differently. Employers should post the new poster in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it.