Check out our 2019 FMLA Update. We cover what’s new over the past year and offer tips, tools and best practices from legal and HR experts.

FMLA is frequently on the minds of HR leaders – it’s certainly of interest the thousands of HR managers across the country that we serve at ESI EAP. FMLA is one of the most popular search terms on our site. That’s probably because it’s one of the most complex and sticky regulatory issues that HR people have to deal with. Because of this, once or twice a year, we gather new resources, articles and tools that readers might find valuable. Our last Family Medical Leave Act post was just about a year ago, so it’s time to update.

First up, this handy guide: State Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Laws – A detailed summary of existing family leave laws in California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington, New York, D.C. and Massachusetts. There are several other states that are looking at paid family leave so stay tuned. NOLO offers a guide to : State Family and Medical Leave Laws, which encompass the unpaid leave laws.

Next, every year Family Medical Leave Act guru and employment law attorney Jeff Nowak posts an important resource for HR professionals and employment attorneys on his blog. The American Bar Association’s annual report of every FMLA decision from 2018 – “a comprehensive report of FMLA decisions handed down by the federal courts in the previous year.” He also offers a Recap of our Webinar on Creating Practical FMLA and ADA Training for Your Managers.

What’s new

In September, new forms were posted and can be downloaded here. Essentially the forms are the same, but they are now valid through 8/31/2021. The Department of Labor (DOL) also issued its first Opinion Letters in 9 years, offering clarity on FMLA and FLSA matters.

Here are a few important DOL links to keep handy:

FMLA Update: Articles on case law, best practices and more

Basics & best practices
HR Daily Advisor: A Refresher Course on FMLA Return-to-Work
JD Supra: DOL Calling! 5 Tips for Navigating a FMLA Audit
FMLA Insights: Next Time Your Employee Requests FMLA Leave, Choose Sincerity with a Touch of Empathy
Employment & Labor Insider: FMLA quirks quiz!
FMLA Insights: Can an Employee Decline FMLA Leave Even though the Absence is Covered by the FMLA? According to the DOL, the Answer is an Emphatic “NO.”
JD Supra: FMLA Leave Designation… What if My Employee Says “No?”
HR Daily Advisor: Can You Terminate an Employee on FMLA Leave?
JD Supra: Are You Interfering With FMLA Rights If You Offer The Option to Work During Leave?
JD Supra: On or Off? What to Do with Email When the Employee Is on FMLA Leave

Problems
FMLA Insights: Next Time You Want to Conduct FMLA Surveillance on Your Employee, Have a Good Reason Why
JD Supra: What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes
FMLA Insights: Fighting FMLA Abuse in the Summertime: Top 10 Employer Tools to Keep Employees Honest
FMLA Insights: Your Employee Is Absent More Often Than Indicated on his FMLA Medical Certification. Now What?

Special circumstances
JD Supra: The FMLA, ADA And Overseas Employees
FMLA Insights: Paying Out a Year-End Bonus or an Incentive Payment: Can an Employer Withhold the Money from the Employee Who Took FMLA Leave?
JD Supra: The Devil Is In The Detail – FMLA Eligibility And Remote Workers

Complexities
Employment & Labor Insider: A pregnancy-disability-FMLA triple whammy
JD Supra: Start That FMLA Clock Running: How To Run FMLA Leave Concurrently With Time Off Due To A Work-Related Injury
JD Supra: Fourth Circuit Says Disclosure of Depression Triggered FMLA Obligations

Administrative issues
JD Supra: The Challenges of Poor FMLA Certifications
JD Supra: Intermittent FMLA Leave is So Easy to Administer. Yeah, Right!

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