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SHRM Online

Aug 13, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is suggesting changes to the forms employers commonly use to administer the FMLA. The DOL said its goal is to make the optional forms easier to understand, but some management attorneys worry doctors will be confused by the revisions.

The department noted that the proposed changes would include:

  • Fewer questions requiring written responses. Instead, the forms would have statements with check boxes.
  • Reorganization of medical certification forms to more quickly determine if an impairment is a serious health condition covered by the FMLA.
  • Clarifications to reduce the demand on health care providers for follow-up information.

While health care providers often provide narrative responses to the questions on the current forms, the responses don’t always clearly indicate whether the health care provider thinks the employee has a serious health condition, said Matt Morris, vice president of FMLASource, a ComPsych Corp. program. “That leaves the employer to surmise as to the doctor’s intent or go back for a clarification,” he said. The new check boxes would help minimize the need for clarification.