FMLA Policy In Handbook Does Not Satisfy Individualized Notice Requirements Of FMLA, New Jersey District Court Holds

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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that employers provide both general notice to their employees of their rights under the FMLA and individualized notice to employees requesting or inquiring about leave. In Young v. Wackenhut Corp., 2013 WL 435971 (D.N.J., February 1, 2013), the New Jersey District Court addressed whether an employer satisfied its “individualized notice” requirements under the FMLA by maintaining a company handbook with an FMLA policy, and by posting the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) FMLA poster. Ruling against the employer, the court held that the handbook summary and DOL poster complied with the general notice requirements, but not the individualized notice requirements. Upon receiving an employee’s request or inquiry about FMLA leave, an employer must provide the employee with (1) an eligibility notice, (2) a rights and responsibilities notice, and (3) a designation notice to comply with the FMLA’s individualized notice requirements—steps that had not been taken here.

Note: This article was published in the March 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.