DOL Issues Updated FMLA Forms

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued new forms for use when an employee requests or has need for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”). Employers can access the forms on the DOL website or at the links below.

The most significant change to the FMLA forms is the inclusion of safe-harbor language in the requests for medical information to ensure compliance with the restrictions under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. The new safe-harbor language is as follows, “[d]o not provide information about genetic tests, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(f), genetic services, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(e), or the manifestation of disease or disorder in the employee’s family members, 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(b).”

Employers are not required to use the DOL forms as long as they do not request more information than allowed under the FMLA regulations. However, many employers prefer the convenience of the DOL standard forms, and now those employers will not have the additional burden of adding GINA safe-harbor language to DOL forms and/or cover letters.

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