New Federal FMLA Poster Released by DOL

By Meaghan E. Murphy - Skoler Abbott

May 18, 2023

In April 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released an updated workplace poster summarizing the significant provisions of the Federal and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and explaining to employees how to file a complaint. This is the first update to the DOL’s FMLA poster since 2016.

Significant Provisions of the FMLA

The FMLA is a federal law that provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for certain qualifying family and medical reasons. All private employers with at least 50 employees (within 75 miles of the employee’s work location) for at least 20 workweeks in the current or previous calendar year are covered employers and subject to the law. To be eligible, employees have to work for a covered employer for at least 12 months and work at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months before the leave.

Under the FMLA, eligible employees can take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period for:

- The birth, adoption or foster placement of a child with the employee;
- An employee’s own serious mental or physical health condition that makes the employee unable to work;
- For an employee to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious mental or physical health condition; and
- Certain qualifying reasons related to the foreign deployment of an employee’s spouse, child or parent who is a military service member.

FMLA leave is not paid, but employees may choose, or be required to by their employer, to use paid time off provided by the employer when appropriate. The DOL enforces the FMLA (for the most part), and that enforcement includes a posting requirement.

The Posting Requirement

Under the FMLA, all covered employers are required to display and keep displayed a poster prepared by the DOL. The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it. A poster must be displayed at all locations even if there are no eligible employees. Failure to post may subject an employer to a $204 penalty per violation.  Keep in mind that employers covered by state Family/Medical Leave laws, such as the Massachusetts and Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave laws, still have to post the federal FMLA poster.

We recommend that employers download and post the newly updated poster to remain as up-to-date as possible with DOL requirements and guidance. Here is the link to the new poster:

While this cleaner (and more aesthetically-pleasing) poster is a nice surprise, it is safe to say that updated guidance on challenging FMLA issues, such as intermittent leave, misuse or abuse of FMLA leave, and medical certification, would have been much more appreciated by employers (and employees, for that matter). For now, we can only continue to hope the DOL provides substantive guidance on these topics at some point in the future.

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