On Monday, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued final revised Family and Medical Leave Act regulations. These rules are the culmination of a six-year effort by DOL to update the original 1993 regulations issued upon the effective date of the FMLA. The new rules revise and update a number of FMLA regulations invalidated by federal courts since 1993. They also make a series of important changes to the leave eligibility, notice and certification procedures under the FMLA.
The new regulations fail to directly address employers’ major concerns and difficulties with FMLA implementation. For example, there are few changes to the definition of a “Serious Health Condition.” DOL also declined to make major changes to the FMLA’s intermittent leave provisions intended to curb abuses of this entitlement. However, the new rules make a series of important changes to employers’ implementation of FMLA leave. These changes include:
1. Revised notice procedures and forms
2. Revised medical certification procedures and forms
3. Provisions implementing the FMLA’s new military leave provisions
Beginning with this issue, EmployNews will provide analysis of the new FMLA rules, including recommendations for changes to employer policies and procedures. The new FMLA rules take effect on January 16, 2009.