Every employer covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must display an informative general notice about the FMLA. Employers may use the Department of Labor’s (DOL) model FMLA poster to satisfy this notice requirement. Employers may also create their own poster, as long as the poster includes the information contained in the DOL’s FMLA poster.
In April 2016, the DOL updated its model FMLA poster. The new model includes most of the same information as the prior model, which was released in February 2013, but is reorganized to make it easier to understand. Covered employers may start using the updated model notice or may continue to use the prior model.
Employers that are subject to the FMLA should confirm that they have an FMLA poster displayed in plain view where employees can easily see it.
Employers using the February 2013 version of the model poster do not have to replace it with the DOL’s updated model. However, employers may want to make this switch if they prefer the updated model’s reader-friendly layout. Employers with employee handbooks that include the DOL’s model FMLA poster should also consider whether to update their handbooks with the new model.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The FMLA is a federal law that provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.
Every employer covered by the FMLA must display or post an informative general notice about the FMLA. Also, to administer FMLA leaves, employers must provide certain notices to employees, such as a notice designating whether a requested leave will qualify as FMLA leave. Employers may also require that employees provide certifications to substantiate their eligibility for certain types of FMLA leave.
The DOL has provided a model poster and model notices and certifications to help employers meet their FMLA obligations. The DOL’s model FMLA forms are optional. Instead of using the DOL’s model forms, employers may decide to create their own FMLA forms.
Every employer covered by the FMLA must display or post an informative general notice about the FMLA. The poster must be displayed in a prominent place where it can be readily seen by employees, and it must have large enough text so it can be easily read. Electronic posting is permissible. Employers that willfully violate this posting requirement may be assessed a civil money penalty of up to $110 for each separate offense.
The FMLA poster must explain how the FMLA works and provide information on how employees can file a complaint with the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division. Covered employers must display the poster even if they do not have any employees who are eligible for FMLA leave.
In addition to displaying a poster, if a covered employer has any FMLA eligible employees, it must provide each employee with a general notice about the FMLA in the employer’s employee handbook or other written materials about leave and benefits. If no handbook or written leave materials exist, the employer must distribute this general notice to each new employee upon hire.
In addition, if a significant portion of an employer’s employees do not read and write English, the employer must provide the general notice in the language in which they can read and write. A Spanish version of the DOL’s model FMLA poster is available on the DOL’s website.
© 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.