New FMLA poster issued by DOL: But do you have to use it?
The DOL just issued a new General FMLA Notice for employers to hang in their workplaces.
The notice can be found here.
Now on to the big question: Do employers have to use it?
The answer: Employers covered by the FMLA must hang the new poster or stick with a pre-existing poster that outlines the same info.
In other words, you’re not required to swap out your current poster for the new one. But there are some reasons you may want to.
For starters, the new poster is organized in a much more reader-friendly way than the DOL’s last poster.
So if you’re not a fan of your current poster’s layout, this may be a more attractive option.
Just to be safe, let’s recap the DOL’s regulations regarding the poster.
Employers covered by the FMLA must display in a conspicuous place — and keep displaying — a General FMLA Notice explaining the law’s protections and requirements, as well as how employees can file complaints of violations of the FMLA with the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division.
The notice — i.e., poster — must be:
- prominently displayed where it can be easily seen by employees and job applicants
- displayed even if no employees are FMLA eligible, and
- provided to each employee. This can be done via an employee handbook distributed to all employees, guidance distributed to employees explaining benefits or leave rights, or a general notice to all new employees upon hire.
Electronic posting is permitted as long as it meets all the posting requirements otherwise.
If a significant portion of workers are not English-literate, the employer must provide the notice in a language in which those employees are literate.
Violations of the regulations can result in a civil penalty of up to $110 per offense.
New FMLA guidance
In conjunction with the new General FMLA Notice poster, the DOL also issued a brand new 76-page guide on administering the FMLA.
While the guide doesn’t impose any new requirements on employers, the guide’s purpose — much like the new poster — is to explain things in a more reader-friendly manner. It’s intended for employers.
Some of the highlights:
- It includes flowcharts outlining the course of a typical leave request from beginning to end.
- There’s a “Did You Know?” section that outlines some of the law’s lesser-known provisions.
- Charts are included to help explain the medical certification process — i.e. What’s required.
- It includes an overview of Military Family Leave.
You can grab the guide here.