Thursday, January 19, 2012

Expired FMLA Forms Extended

You may notice that the most current versions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms from the US Department of Labor (DOL) bear an expiration date of December 31, 2011.  Of course, the deadline has passed, yet the DOL has not issued new forms.

The DOL must submit the new forms to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  At first, OMB had not yet approved the new FMLA forms, so DOL was advising that employer could still use the expired forms.  However, on Saturday, January 14, 2012, the DOL changed the expiration date for the most current forms to January 31, 2012, extending the use of the existing forms.

The most current forms are subject to updating in part because they do not address the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) safe harbor notice employers can provide when seeking medical information from employees or employees’ medical providers. The safe harbor notice states that “GINA prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of employees or their family members. In order to comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. ‘Genetic information,’ as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.”

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