DOL Publishes a Request for Information on Current FMLA Regulations

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On July 17, 2020, the USDOL’s Wage and Hour Division published a “Request for Information” (RFI) in the Federal Register, seeking input for its examination of the effectiveness of the current regulations in meeting the FMLA’s statutory objectives.

According to WHD, “Results of employee and employer surveys continue to show an ongoing need for education and awareness in the administration and use of FMLA leave. Information from the public on what is and is not working well in the administration of the FMLA can further inform and guide the Department.”

The RFI invites interested parties to submit comments, information, and data to provide a basis for examining the current regulations. In order to frame the responses, the RFI provides guidance and suggests a number of questions. Here are some examples:

  • What challenges have employers and employees experienced in applying the regulatory definition of a serious health condition?
  • Are there specific challenges or impacts that employers and employees experience when an employee takes FMLA leave on an intermittent basis or on a reduced leave schedule?
  • What specific issues do employers and employees experience when employees request leave or notify their employers of their need for leave?
  • What, if any, challenges have employers encountered in determining whether a certification establishes that the employee or employee's immediate family member has a serious health condition under the FMLA and the amount of leave needed?
  • WHD has issued seven opinion letters on FMLA topics since 2018. Would it would be helpful to provide additional guidance regarding the interpretations contained in any of these opinion letters through the regulatory process?
  • WHD welcomes any information on the administration and effectiveness of the current regulations and suggestions regarding specific strategies to challenges faced by employers and employees in the administration and use of FMLA leave. WHD also welcomes information on best practices that employees and employers may have experienced in using or administering the FMLA.

Note that DOL’s questions are not intended to be an exclusive list of issues. Respondents may provide information on any aspect of FMLA administration and use. This is an opportunity for employers, employees and interested parties to have a say in making substantive changes to the FMLA regulations.

Comments are due on or before September 15, 2020. Go to http://www.regulations.gov to submit comments, and use Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA30 in the ‘Search’ field. Submission instructions are found on the website

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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