The U.S. Department of Labor revised a number of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms. The forms now include wording that protects employees by limiting information gathered about family members needing the employee’s care.
The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid leave while keeping their job and group health insurance coverage. One approved reason is to care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition.
The new forms replace those that expired in February 2016. The main FMLA forms used by employers — doctors’ certifications of serious health conditions, notices of rights and responsibilities and designation notices — now carry an expiration date of May 31, 2018. In addition, the new forms also address the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which limits collection of data on hereditary health conditions that could be used to discriminate against employees.
An employer may require an employee who is seeking FMLA protections to care for a covered family member to submit a medical certification issued by the covered family member’s medical provider. The employee is not required to fill out the forms — response is voluntary — and the employer cannot ask the employee to provide more information than allowed under the FMLA regulations. Employers must maintain records and documents relating to medical certifications, recertifications or medical histories of employees’ family members. This requirement limits collection of data on hereditary health conditions that could be used to discriminate against employees.
The updated forms include:
- WH-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition
- WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
- WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities
- WH-382 Designation Notice
- WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave
- WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service member — for Military Family Leave
- WH-385-V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave