Hey, look — a new FMLA poster!


New Q&A format designed to be more employee friendly

The U.S. Department of Labor quietly released a new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster in early May.

Since the law has not changed, the FMLA poster has no significant updates. Employers need not swap out their April 2016 or February 2013 versions, as they still fulfill the posting requirement.

Because this is the 30th anniversary of the FMLA, the DOL is taking steps to ensure employees are aware of their rights, and part of the strategy includes making the poster more employee friendly. The latest version is in a question-answer format.

Applicant and employee access

Covered employers must display or post this "general notice" in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it. It must be displayed at all locations, even if employers have no employees who meet the FMLA's eligibility criteria.

Employers with any eligible employees must either:

  • Include a copy of the poster information in their employee handbook,
  • Provide a copy in other written leave guidance, or
  • Give a copy to each new hire.

What about posting electronically?

Electronic posting is acceptable, as long as it otherwise meets the requirements. Employees and applicants must easily read it. The text, for example, should not be so small that no one can read it without a magnifying glass. Posting failures can cost up to $204 for each separate offense.

If employers have job candidates complete application forms online, the DOL asks that they please place a prominent notice on the website where the job postings are listed stating that "Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws" and link to the poster.

What about multiple languages?

If an employer's workforce is made up of a significant portion of people not literate in English, employers need to provide this general notice in the language in which they are literate. Unfortunately, the DOL does not define "significant portion."

Key to Remember: While the FMLA poster is new, employers are not required to rush and ensure this latest version is posted. Stay calm and carry on.

This article was written by Darlene M. Clabault, SHRM-CP, PHR, CLMS, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The content of these news items, in whole or in part, MAY NOT be copied into any other uses without consulting the originator of the content.


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