What are an employer's notice requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
Author: Melissa Burdorf, XpertHR Legal Editor
The FMLA requires that a covered employer provide both general notice to employees of their rights under the FMLA and individualized notice to employees requesting or inquiring about leave. Having information on the FMLA in an employee handbook and/or posting the Department of Labor's (DOL's) general notice poster is not enough to satisfy the FMLA's notice requirements because there is no individualized notice.
In order to satisfy the general notice requirements, a covered employer must post a notice explaining the FMLA's rights and responsibilities, even if no employee or applicant is eligible for the FMLA. The notice must contain excerpts from, or summaries of, the significant provisions of the FMLA, as listed in the DOL's Wage and Hour Division's WHD Publication 1420. If the employer maintains an employee handbook or provides employees with other written guidance discussing employee benefits or leave rights, this information must be included in such a handbook or written guidance.
In order to satisfy the individualized notice requirements, once an employer receives a request for or a question about FMLA leave, the employer must provide the employee with:
- An eligibility notice (the DOL has an optional form WH-381, Part A);
- A rights and responsibilities notice (the DOL has an optional form WH-381, Part B); and
- A designation notice (the DOL has an optional form WH-382).