Those sneaky little rascals! While the rest of us were enjoying our Memorial Day holiday, those crazy kids over at the Department of Labor were still working away. This time, they were busy posting the new model FMLA notices and medical certification forms. Expiration: May 31, 2018!
No more month-to-month extensions or lost sleep over when the long-awaited forms would be released. Now, we can rest easy through spring 2018. Relief.
That said, it couldn’t have taken DOL a whole lot of time to draft the updated forms. After a relatively close review of the *new* forms, I can find only one (somewhat) notable change: a reference to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). In the instructions to the health care provider on the certification for an employee’s serious health condition, the DOL has added the following simple instruction:
Do not provide information about genetic tests, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(f), genetic services, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(e), or the manifestation of disease or disorder in the employee’s family members, 29 C.F.R. § 1635.3(b).
DOL added similar language to the other medical certification forms as well. This is nothing new. For years, employers have included GINA disclaimers in their FMLA paperwork, and those disclaimers typically have been far more robust (and reader-friendly) than the cryptic one endorsed by DOL above. In fact, many employers have used a GINA disclaimer I recommended in a previous post a few years back, and I still advise you to use that disclaimer in your forms.
For easy reference, here are the links to the new FMLA forms:
- WH-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition (pdf)
- WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition (pdf)
- WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities (pdf)
- WH-382 Designation Notice (pdf)
- WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave (pdf)
- WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Current Servicemember — for Military Family Leave (pdf)
- WH-385-V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave (pdf)
Hat tip: Thanks to Holly Moyer for watching out like a hawk for these new forms and alerting me to them!