New FMLA forms address GINA safe harbor — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

New FMLA forms address GINA safe harbor

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor has modified its FMLA forms to include employer safe harbor language required under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  

GINA bars employers from asking for an employee’s genetic information, but provides a safe harbor for employers who inadvertently obtain it.

Inadvertent disclosure often occurs when employers request medical information from health care providers when certifying the need for FMLA leave. The new forms provide specific language instructing health care providers not to provide any genetic information.

The DOL updated the core suite of FMLA forms, including:

  • Doctors’ certifications of employees’ and family members’ serious health conditions
  • Notices of rights and responsibilities
  • Designation notices
  • Certifications of the need for military and veterans family and caregiver leave.

The new forms—valid through May 31, 2018—are available on the Department of Labor’s website.

Note: Employers that operate in states with their own medical or family leave laws should check with their attorneys to determine whether the DOL forms are appropriate.

Advice: Release of the new forms creates an opportunity to review your FMLA policy with your attorney to identify any necessary changes. Describe any FMLA disputes that have occurred recently. Work together to develop an action plan to address deficiencies you discover.

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