DOL’s New Guidebook May Trigger More FMLA Claims

Employment Law Newsletter

On June 27, 2012, the Untied States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new 16-page guide book entitled "NEED TIME? The Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act." The guide book provides a "simple overview" of the leave benefits accorded to employees under the FMLA.

Among other things, the guide includes an easy to follow flow chart employees and employers can utilize to determine FMLA eligibility, provides information on how FMLA leave is to be processed by employers, and encourages employees to bring a copy of the guide book to their medical providers to assist them in complying with the medical certification process. The manual also provides information on how employees can file a complaint with the DOL if they believe their FMLA rights have been violated by an employer. The guide is currently available in English on the DOL’s website, A Spanish version is expected in the near future.

Employers can expect to see a spike in both requests for FMLA leave as well as claims for violation of FMLA rights as a result of this new user-friendly tool designed to heighten employee awareness of leave rights. Whereas our experience shows that employers are likewise uninformed about the full expanse of employee and employer rights and responsibilities under the FMLA, we encourage all employers to keep the guide book as a valuable resource when administering FMLA requests.

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