Updated FMLA poster released by Department of Labor

Most employers in Wisconsin and around the country with a staff of 50 or more are required to display a poster in the workplace that informs workers of their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The Department of Labor updated this poster on April 16, 2016. While DOL rules allow employers to keep their current FMLA posters in place, the federal agency does require company policies to be updated to reflect the latest changes. The DOL also provides employers with a comprehensive guide to help them ensure that they are in compliance with the 1993 law.

Employers are required to hang the FMLA poster in a place where it can be seen by all covered employees, and it must also be displayed even if no workers are currently eligible for coverage under the law. Popular places to hang the poster include changing rooms, lunch rooms and cafeterias. Employees must also be notified of their rights under the FMLA, which is generally done by including the provisions of the law in employee handbooks or orientation materials. The poster is available from the DOL in both English and Spanish.

Employers seeking a straightforward path to compliance may simply attach a copy of the updated FMLA poster to employee handbooks. Employers face a civil penalty of $110 per worker when these posting requirements are not met, which could add up quickly for companies with large numbers of employees.

The FMLA allows workers to take unpaid leave to tend to medical issues without fearing that they will lose their jobs or health insurance coverage, but employers are sometimes reluctant to grant this legally protected time off. In these situations, attorneys could initiate legal action on behalf of people who are being prevented from taking medical leave guaranteed by federal law.

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