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Over the May 2015 Memorial Day holiday, the Department of Labor (DOL) was still working away. This time, they were busy posting the new model Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) notices and medical certification forms. Expiration: May 31, 2018.
No more month-to-month extensions or lost sleep over when the long-awaited forms would be released. Now, those managing FMLA leave can rest easy through spring 2018. Relief.
That said, it couldn’t have taken DOL much time to draft the updated forms. After a relatively close review of the “new” forms, I can find only one (somewhat) notable change: a reference to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). In the instructions to the health care provider on the certification for an employee’s serious health condition, the DOL has added the following simple instruction:
Do 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).
The DOL added similar language to the other medical certification forms as well. This is nothing new. For years, employers have included GINA disclaimers in their FMLA paperwork, and those disclaimers typically have been far more robust (and reader-friendly) than the cryptic one endorsed by DOL above. In fact, many employers have used a GINA disclaimer I recommended
in a previous post a few years back, and I still advise you to use that disclaimer in your forms.
For easy reference, here are the links to the new FMLA forms:
The forms also can be accessed from this
DOL web page.
Jeff Nowak is a partner at the law firm
Franczek Radelet P.C. and author of the
FMLA Insights blog, where this article, in slightly different form, originally appeared. © 2015 Franczek Radelet P.C. All rights reserved. Republished with permission.
DOL Releases New FMLA Forms, The Wagner Law Group, June 2015
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