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DOL Revises Optional-Use FMLA Forms; Solicits Comments on FMLA Effectiveness

EBIA  

EBIA  

FMLA: Forms (June 2020); Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 CFR Part 825, 85 Fed. Reg. 43513 (July 17, 2020)

Forms

Request for Information

The DOL has updated the optional-use FMLA notices and forms provided on its website. The notices and forms, which can be completed and saved electronically, can be used by employers as models for their own FMLA-required communications. One of the updated forms is the Notice of Eligibility & Rights and Responsibilities, which includes information required to be provided to employees who notify their employer of the need for FMLA leave, including details about the maintenance of health benefits and the payment of premiums during an employee’s FMLA leave. According to a news release, the streamlined forms are intended to be simpler and easier for employees, employers, leave administrators, and health care providers to understand and use.

The DOL has also issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting feedback on specific challenges and best practices in the use or administration of FMLA leave. Through the RFI, the DOL intends to gather information concerning the effectiveness of the current FMLA regulations and topics for which additional compliance assistance would be helpful. Written comments are requested by September 15, 2020.

EBIA Comment: The FMLA’s requirements include the obligation to maintain coverage under a group health plan during FMLA leave and to restore all benefits when the employee returns from the leave. All employers subject to the FMLA should be familiar with its obligations and notice requirements, including the expanded FMLA leave rights that were added in response to the COVID-19 outbreak but were not included in the updated forms or RFI (see our Checkpoint article). For more information, see EBIA’s Group Health Plan Mandates manual at Sections XVI.D (“Expanded FMLA Leave for Emergency Childcare”), XVII.A (“What Is the FMLA and Who Must Comply?”), and XVII.G (“Notice Requirements Affecting Health Plan Benefits”). See also EBIA’s Self-Insured Health Plans manual at Section XIV.H.1 (“FMLA: Family and Medical Leave”) and EBIA’s Cafeteria Plans manual at Section XIV.O (“When May Participant Elections Be Changed: FMLA Leaves of Absence”).

Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.

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