There are a significant number of changes to the FMLA regulations. Here are some key highlights but I would suggest that you obtain additional information to ensure that you are completely in compliance.
- Employees who take intermittent FMLA leave for planned medical treatment have a statutory obligation to make a “reasonable effort” to schedule such leave so as not to disrupt unduly the employer’s operations.
- If an employee voluntarily performs “light duty” work, time spent doing such work will not count against an employee’s FMLA entitlement, and the employee’s right to job restoration is held in abeyance during the light duty period.
- Employers may not request additional information beyond that information included in the Dr’s certification document.
- FMLA protection is expanded to include family members caring for a “covered service member” with a serious injury or illness incurred in the “line of duty on active duty.”
- The terms and conditions of an employer’s paid leave policies apply and must be followed by the employee in order to substitute any form of accrued paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave.
- Family members of personnel on active duty may also take FMLA leave for “qualifying exigencies,” defined as: (1) short notice deployment (2) military events and related activities (3) childcare and school activities (4) financial and legal arrangements (5) counseling (6) rest and recuperation (7) post-deployment activities (8) additional activities where the employer and employee agree to the leave.
- If an employer has no handbook or other written material, it must provide general FMLA notice to new employees upon being hired. An employer has 5 business days to respond to an employee’s request for leave. If an employee suffers individual harm because the employer fails to follow the notification rules, the employer may be liable.
If you are not sure about the changes shown above, or cannot find a more detailed descrpiton, please let us know.