Seriously? A FMLA Series, Episode 8
by Carla O’Sullivan
Spring Cleaning….A Mini Series!
Did you notice the notice?
Spring has sprung! Your “To Do” list includes cleaning out closets, dusting off the bikes, and getting seedlings started! Can I suggest you add “Review the company FMLA Policy & Procedures”? I know, I know, even if the Dept. of Labor were in an episode of House of Cards, this is not a sexy topic….but it’s important!
However, much like The House of Cards, this is going to be a mini-series, so I’m going to cover only part of your notice requirements today.
The Basics: Assuming you are a covered employer, you have 4 primary notice requirements. General Notice, Eligibility Notice, Rights/Responsibilities Notice, and Designation Notice.
- You must display the FMLA Poster in plain view for all workers AND APPLICANTS to see. Yes, that’s right….I said applicants too! Electronic posting is sufficient IF (big, fat IF) it meets all posting requirements.
- You must display the poster at all locations, even if there are no eligible employees at all locations. So long as you are an eligible employer for any sites, you must post at all sites.
- You don’t have to use the DOL’s poster, but if you choose to create your own, it must at minimum contain 100% of the information communicated in the DOL’s poster….so, really, why reinvent the wheel?
The Ya, but…:
- Don’t forget those work from home employees. You may have poo-poo’d the electronic notice because of the little snag that applicants have to be able to see the notice as well and applicants don’t have access to your intranet, but the WFH employee’s aren’t hanging out in the cafeteria where the poster is up. There really is no overkill on this one.
- Do you have a significant number of employees where English is not their first language? That’s right, if they can’t read it, you might as well be posting up the March Madness brackets, because the employee is not going to be adequately informed if you only tack up the English version.
- Do you have any employees who are sensory impaired? You see where I’m going with this.
Yes, seriously, even if you know the employee knows and they know you know they know, failing to follow the simple task of posting the poster both electronically and in paper can at minimum cost you a $110 penalty by the WHD.
Knowing the FMLA 101 basics (and of course the ‘Ya, but’) is just the first layer of sunscreen to keep from getting burned. Don’t forget to reapply regularly!