Human Resources

New Things to Learn About FMLA

By Susan Schoenfeld, JD

Just when you thought you’d finished learning all you could about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) releases some new material. Fortunately, BLR® Senior Legal Editor Susan Schoenfeld, JD, has the facts on the new poster and guidebook.

Employers take note—the DOL has released a new FMLA poster (WH 1420a) for use by employers covered by the FMLA. The new poster, dated April 2016, is reformatted and contains additional information on servicemember caregiver leave, intermittent leave and use of accrued paid leave, as well as new information on requesting FMLA leave.

All covered employers are required to display and keep displayed a poster prepared by the DOL summarizing the major provisions of the FMLA and telling employees how to file a complaint. The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it. A poster must be displayed at all locations even if there are no eligible employees.

According to the DOL, the previous version of the FMLA poster (dated February 2013) can still be used to fulfill the posting requirement.

DOL Releases New Employer Guide

On April 25, the DOL’s Branch Chief for the FMLA, Helen Applewhaite, announced that the DOL has released a new Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The new guide, announced at the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference held in Pittsburgh, covers FMLA administration from beginning to end, including:

  • Covered employers and their notice requirements
  • When an employee needs FMLA leave, including notice and eligibility
  • Qualifying reasons for leave
  • The certification process
  • Military family leave
  • What happens during FMLA leave, including scheduling, leave calculation, benefits, and job restoration


The guide also contains links to related sections of the FMLA regulations and a useful “roadmap” to the FMLA, taking the employer through the sequential steps of FMLA leave, from determining eligibility, certification, notice, and other leave administration steps.