UPDATED 1/16/09

We had a great turnout today for our breakfast roundtable on the new FMLA regulations. I want to particularly thank several blog readers for coming. 

But in case you missed it, you’re not out of luck.  Here’s some of Copyright 2009, Daniel A. Schwartz - All Rights Reservedwhat we discussed and what you need to know for Friday – the date the new FMLA regulations become effective. 

  • Start using the new forms, certifications and postings on Friday – To simplify (and perhaps oversimplify so look at the new regulations for more details), there are new rules on when notices should be given and what they should contain. Here are some highlights:
    • Form WH-381 must be given to employees within 5 business days of the leave request.
    • If the employer will require the employee to certify the leave, the appropriate certification form (either WH-380-E, 380-F, 384, 385), should be given to the employee (along with the notice form) also within 5 business days of the leave request.
    • Once a designation has been made, there is a new designation notice (WH-382) that also must be provided; this must be done within 5 days of the designation determination. A new form should be provided if the designation changes over time. 
    • Lastly, to the extent that you are not providing each employee with a copy of their rights individually, the employer should also use the new FMLA poster available here. 
  • Update your FMLA policies – To the extent that you have a policy on FMLA, the policy should be revised to at least include the information in the notice above. 
  • Don’t overlook the new military leave regulations – Although the statute regarding new military leave has been in place for a while, the regulations implementing and interpreting the statute are new.  If you have employees who have family members who are injured servicemembers, or if you have employees who have been called to active duty, you need to familiarize yourself with these rules.  The rules allow for broader leave that employers may be accustomed to.

Finally, if you need more information about the FMLA, you can check out my previous posts on the subject here.