FMLA Regs May Soon Get Revamped To Ease Employer Burdens

Author:Ms Myra Creighton and Edward F. Harold
Profession:Fisher Phillips LLP
 
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If the Department of Labor has anything to say about it, employers may soon get a bit of a reprieve when it comes to dealing with the administrative and compliance difficulties associated with the Family and Medical Leave Act. In a May 21 announcement, the agency's spring regulatory agenda - highlighting its plans for the coming year and beyond - contained a noteworthy entry calling for information to help revise the statute's regulations to help "reduce administrative and compliance burdens on employers." What do employers need to know about this impending development, and how might they influence this process to their benefit?

Agency Will Call For Information From Stakeholders

Yesterday's announcement was short but sweet. The U.S. Department of Labor's semi-annual regulatory agenda announced that the agency wants to gather information from employers and the worker community to assist in improving procedures under the FMLA. "In this Request for Information," it reads, "the Department will solicit comments on ways to improve its regulations under the FMLA to: (a) better protect and suit the needs of workers; and (b) reduce administrative and compliance burdens on employers."

Officially, the Request for Information (RFI) is still in the pre-rule stage, meaning that we have several steps to go before we enjoy a revamped and streamlined compliance process. The only timetable noted in the announcement places April 2020 as the date by which we can expect some progress. If the USDOL sticks with this plan, we can expect to see more detail by then regarding the specific provisions of the regulations that are up for possible revision—and possibly some indication of what kinds of revisions may be proposed.

What Can We Expect?

At this stage of the game...

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