FMLA forms may be changing soon. What will they say? How will HR cope? #breathe

Paperbag head

Paperbaghead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Calm down, bruh. That bag is for breathing; not hiding from your employees.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor hooked us up with some guidance on whether an employee may take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to discuss a child’s special education needs at school. (The answer is yes.)

But, the DOL went one step further and proposed some changes to those FMLA forms; yes, the ones that you’ve gotten to know and love.

But, change can be good. Who knows? Maybe the DOL will release the FMLA paperwork in audiobook form. Maybe they can get Stone Cold Steve Austin to record them.

He’s the first person who came to mind because I just watched him on Hot Ones yesterday. Well, that and I still stan for pro wrestling.

Eric, less wrestling nerd-dom and more FMLA nerd-dom, please.

Of course.

According to the DOL, “t[t]he goal in revising the forms is to increase compliance with the FMLA, improve customer service, and reduce the burden on the public by making the forms easier to understand and use.”

On its website, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division touts the following changes to the FMLA forms:

  • Fewer questions requiring written responses; replaced by statements that can be verified by simply checking a box
  • Reorganization of medical certification forms to more quickly determine if a medical condition is a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA
  • Clarifications to reduce the demand on health care providers for follow-up information
  • More information on the notification forms to better communicate specific information about leave conditions to employees
  • Changes to the qualifying exigency certification form to provide clarity to employees about what information is required
  • Changes to the military caregiver leave forms to improve consistency and ease of use
  • Layout and style changes to reduce blank space and improve readability

Eric, where can I view these proposed new forms?

Right herre:

  • 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 of 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 Servicemember—for Military Family Leave
  • WH-385-V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave

Eric, you’ve fine-tooth combed these new forms for us, right?

Does a bear sh—

No, I haven’t. I wasted too much time yesterday watching Stone Cold on Hot Ones. Well, that and I got sucked into the BA Test Kitchen. Then I made a rosemary butter sandwich between two slices of fried bologna as the bread.

Don’t judge me.

Just read the forms yourself.

Well, excuuuuuuuse me, Eric. Can I at least comment to the DOL on the forms before they’re finalized?

You sure can. Click here for that.

Will you at least post the final forms once the DOL releases them?

Who loves you?

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”