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Employer-friendly changes coming to FMLA?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), its plans to revisit the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations have two goals in mind. The first is to "better protect and suit the needs of workers," the DOL says. The second goal is to "reduce administrative and compliance burdens on employers."

The federal agency will issue a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comments from the business community and from workers in its effort to improve FMLA rules. The request is expected by April of next year or sooner, according to a business publication.

It is not yet entirely clear what changes the DOL might be interested in enacting, but some observers believe there could at least be changes in FMLA forms. A spokesperson for an employment law firm told those gathered at the recent Disability Management Employer Coalition's 2019 FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference that the DOL is interested in making FMLA forms easier to use – with an interest especially keen on reducing the demands FMLA forms place on doctors.

As New Jersey employers know full well, FMLA compliance is often a challenge, with a need to coordinate between the companies and physicians.

Some of our regular readers will recall that the Department of Labor released an opinion letter earlier this year that made it clear that FMLA leave and paid time off must run concurrently. Of course, we here in New Jersey also have a web of ever-evolving state laws and regulations to contend with as well.

Talk to an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that your company’s policies and practices are in full compliance with FMLA today and tomorrow.

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