Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)


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The Family and Medical Leave Act presentation was revised to include the latest in FMLA policies and procedures.

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  • Family Medical Leave Act RevisionsThis presentation regards the Family and Medical Leave Act and the revisions and changes that were enacted effective January 2009.
  • The objectives for this presentation will include reviewing the previous FMLA of 1993, then discussing the revisions and changes to the act, and finally concluding with best practices for your organization.
  • Now we will discuss Family and Medical Leave Act of 2009.The revisions to this act were effective January 2009.There are many small revisions and changes but we have divided them into three main categories.
  • Updates to FMLA regulations implement the new military leave entitlements enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 (NDAA).The first of the two sections of the Military Leave Requirements refers to Caregiver Leave.This provision not only extends the time allowed for leave but also extends FMLA protection to additional family members (next of kin) beyond those who may take FMLA leave for other qualifying reasons.
  • In addition to the Military Leave entitlements, there have also been changes to FMLA Notice requirements.The final rule strengthens and clarifies the employer notice requirements to better inform employees and allow for a better exchange of information.Employers are required to provide notice to employees about FMLA upon hire (through a poster, handbook, etc). Notices can be done electronically but must always be done in a language that can be understood by the employee.The final rule extends the time for employers to provide various notices, such as designating leave as FMLA following an FMLA request, from 2 business days to 5 business days.For Employees- the old rule was interpreted to allow some employees to provide notice to an employer of the need for FMLA leave up to 2 full business days after an absence, even if they could have provided notice more quickly.The final rule provides that an employee needing FMLA leave must follow an employer’s usual and customary call-in procedure for reporting an absence.
  • There have also been changes to the certification requirements for FMLA leave. In response to concerns raised by employees about medical privacy, a requirement has been added to the final rule specifying an employer’s representative contacting a health care provider must not be a supervisor.Also the final rule allows an employer to request recertification of an ongoing condition every 6 months
  • Furthermore, employers may not ask health care providers for additional information beyond that required by a certification form.However, an employer can ask for more information if they deem the medical certificate incomplete. Written notice is required by employer in this case.Fitness for Duty- employer is allowed to require employees who take leave to provide a certification that they are able to resume work.Changes to the Fitness For Duty process include:1)The employer may require the certification specifically address ability to perform essential job functions. 2) Where reasonable safety concerns exist, an employer may require Fitness for Duty certification before an employee may return to work when taking intermittent leave.
  • We will leave you with some Food for Thought to mull over regarding FMLA. Regarding military leave requirements- now many more employees are covered and have reason for taking FMLA- what kind of impact will it have on your organization when the war ends and service members come home or if more service members are deployed?
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

    1. 1. Family and Medical Leave Act Revisions “FMLA”FMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 1
    2. 2. FMLA Objectives Review original law Summarize revisions Suggest best practicesFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 2
    3. 3. FMLA 1993 Protects employees from job loss when significant time off is required due to certain family and medical reasons Must grant eligible employees 12 weeks unpaid job protected leave within a 12 month period for any of the following reasons:  Birth of a child, adoption, foster care  To care for serious health condition of immediate family member  To care for personal serious health conditionFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 3
    4. 4. Employee Eligibility Requirements Worked for covered employer for at least 12 months Worked a minimum of 1250 hours over the previous year There are at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius Employee is required to provide a 30 day notice of a foreseeable event that entail FMLAFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 4
    5. 5. FMLA 2009 Effective January 16, 2009 3 major revised regulations:  New military leave entitlements  Enhanced regulatory requirements  Clarification of termsFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 5
    6. 6. New Military Leave Entitlements Caregiver Leave  26 weeks unpaid leave for an eligible employee during a 12 month period  Applies to employees whose spouse, son, daughter, parent, or “next of kin” is a service member on active duty  Service member is suffering from a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of dutyFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 6
    7. 7. New Military Leave Entitlements Active Duty Leave  Eligible employee can use original 12 weeks unpaid leave during a 12 month period  Applies to employees whose spouse, son, daughter, parent, or “next of kin” is a service member on active duty  Use for the following “qualifying exigencies”:  Short notice deployment  Childcare and school activities  Recuperation  Military eventsFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 7
    8. 8. Notice Requirements Reinforced Employer Employee Electronic posting  Follow the employer’s Understandable procedures for language reporting an absence 5 days to reply to employee  Greater responsibility New forms for advance notice of need for leaveFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 8
    9. 9. Changes to Certification Requirements Medical Certification  Employer’s representative must be a health care provider, HR professional, or management official  Cannot be the employee’s direct supervisor  Employer may request re-certification of an ongoing condition every 6 monthsFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 9
    10. 10. Changes to Certification Requirements Incomplete Medical Certification  Written notice is required  Employee has 7 days to provide additional information Fitness for Duty Certifications  Addresses the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job  When safety concerns exist, may require a certification before employee returns to workFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 10
    11. 11. Clarification of Terms Serious Health Condition  3+ consecutive days of incapacity and 2 health care provider visits must occur within the first 30 days of the beginning of leave  First health care visit must occur within 7 days of the first day of leave  “Periodic Visits” for chronic health conditions = at least 2 visits to a health care provider per yearFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 11
    12. 12. Clarification of Terms Eligibility/Breaks in Service  Employers are not required to count employment prior to a continuous break in service of 7 or more years unless:  Break in service was due to fulfillment of military service obligations  Collective bargaining agreement affirmed employer’s intention to rehire employee after break in serviceFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 12
    13. 13. Clarification of Terms Light Duty Assignments  Time spent performing light duty does not count against FMLA entitlement  Job reinstatement rights continue during light duty assignments  Employee will lose this right if they remain in light duty assignment at the end of 12 month FMLA periodFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 13
    14. 14. Clarification of Terms Substitution of Paid Leave  Employers may require accrued paid leave (Vacation, sick, PTO) to be taken concurrently with FMLA  Now, all forms of paid leave are to be treated the sameFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 14
    15. 15. Additional Revised Regulations Perfect Attendance Award - denies “perfect attendance” to employees who use FMLA Waiver of Rights - allows settlement or release of FMLA claims without prior court or department approval Employer Relief - eliminates requirement that employers who fail to properly designate FMLA leave offer additional 12 weeks protected leaveFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 15
    16. 16. Best Practices Update policies, handbook, forms, and training Post general FMLA notice Confirm shared responsibility between employee and employer Encourage employee to initiate leave requestFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 16
    17. 17. Food For Thought Will broadened definition of disability under ADAAA increase requests for FMLA leaves? What is the impact when the war ends?FMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 17
    18. 18. FMLA Information For additional information go to: • • http://www.thevirtualhrdirector.comFMLA © Gary Wheeler, The Virtual HR Director, LLC 18