While many people are filling up their calendars with fun summer plans, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has one key date on its radar — June 30, 2023. That's the expiration date of the DOL's model Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) notices and certification forms.
This pending change does not, however, mean that you need to ensure that, come July, you are using the latest version. In fact, the DOL might not even have a new version available by then.
The DOL's versions are only model forms, and you are not required to use them. These are not like Forms I-9, where the government dictates the exact form and the dates the latest versions must be used.
When it comes to the FMLA, you may create your own versions of the notices and forms — just be sure they generally contain the same information. The FMLA certification forms, for example, may not ask for more details beyond what the regulations allow.
With the FMLA forms, the expiration date is an internal, federal government Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expiration. The DOL must review the forms and notices every three years; the revision is not always relevant to the content of the required information.
That does not mean that the DOL must update the forms every three years. Often, no changes are made, except to change the expiration date. The DOL also often misses the expiration date deadline. Sometimes, the DOL even extends that expiration date.
If June 30, 2023, comes and goes without new FMLA forms, don't worry. Continue using the current ones. The forms will eventually get a new expiration date, and most employers will want to use the latest version. This makes sense since employers might not want to identify each and every change and recreate it on their own documents.
It's possible the DOL will make some changes, and since using their model forms is often the easiest way to ensure compliance, when the new versions come out, they will be made available. The previous update had some considerable changes, and currently, the DOL does not appear to want to make many changes, but time will tell.
Key to Remember: New versions of the FMLA form might be coming soon. Meanwhile, employers can use the current ones.
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.