Would You Change It? Government Seeking Feedback on FMLA
Unfortunately, individual and family illness is unavoidable and can impact the ability to work. The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires that employers with more than 50 or more employees provide 12-weeks of leave if an illness constitutes a qualifying event. For many years, the way to address notification, eligibility, and compliance under the FMLA have been through Department of Labor (DOL) forms.
The DOL forms have previously received criticism for their length, medium (i.e.: paper), and lack of clarity (while others have found the forms helpful and necessarily thorough). Lucky for anyone with an opinion on FMLA or the forms generally (which have not been revised for several years), the DOL recently announced that it is considering an update, issuing a Federal Register notice seeking public feedback.
The impact of potential revisions is significant – with the DOL reporting that almost 7 million employees use FML annually. Further, the cost of administering the law totals approximately $219 million.
According to the DOL, feedback can be submitted by email or mail no later than October 4, 2019. I recommend that individuals and businesses that are FMLA-eligible review the notice and take the opportunity to comment on potential revisions. It may be several years before the federal government provides such an opportunity to the greater public. Feel free to reach out to me to discuss current FMLA requirements and existing forms.
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