DoL to Put out Proposed FMLA Changes

February 8, 2008 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has completed proposed revisions to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and will publish them in the Federal Register for Monday, February 11.

According to CCH Human Resource Management, the proposed regulations would amend key provisions of the FMLA, including:

  • employer and employee notice requirements;
  • nonconsecutive periods of service in determining “eligible employee”;
  • the “two-visit” treatment requirement in the definition of “continuing treatment”;
  • fitness-for-duty certification and recertification;
  • HIPAA privacy requirements and contact with health care providers;
  • substitution of paid leave;
  • joint employers and the 50-employees-within-75-miles requirement; and
  • to address employer challenges in administering intermittent leave, an added provision allowing employers to contact health care providers to discern whether an employee’s absence patterns are consistent with the employee’s qualifying medical condition.

The proposed rules also include a revised Certification of Health Care Provider form, notice poster revisions, and increased civil penalties for violating notice posting requirements, CCH said.

In the Federal Register publication, the DoL will also request comments on issues to be addressed in the final regulations regarding military family leave. An extension of the FMLA for family members of military service personnel was enacted on January 28, 2008, (See FMLA Expansion for Military Families Signed into Law ).

Last June the DoL published comments it received following its Request for Information, which indicated employers are concerned over FMLA-created business management and attendance control issues (See FMLA Creates Concern over Business Management and Attendance ).

The Federal Register is here .