You asked: “Someone told me we should be using new forms for FMLA requests. Is that true? What changed?”
The answer: If you use the U. S. Department of Labor’s model form for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) certification, you may have noticed the 2011 expiration date. You may also have noticed there were no new forms as of early 2012. Those forms have finally been updated. But the changes are minimal . . . mainly just the new expiration date of Feb. 28, 2015.
If you’d like to access the new form or download a copy for your files, click here (as always, it’s FREE!).
WORD OF WARNING: Some expected the new forms to include a disclaimer regarding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Surprisingly, none was added. However, employers must still be very careful about the information they request. So it is best to add a GINA disclaimer when you send the FMLA request to your employee’s health care provider. This warning will help create a “safe harbor” for your company. If the health care provider should inadvertently send genetic information, your acquisition of that information would be considered accidental. Here is the recommended GINA disclaimer:
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Notice
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. “Genetic Information,” as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.
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