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DOL updates Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL WHD) recently updated its Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  DOL WHD produced this Guide “in an effort to increase public awareness of the FMLA and of the various [DOL] resources and services available to the public.”

The Guide is informative for both employers and employees who want to understand their obligations and rights under the FMLA.  The FMLA provides unpaid leave to eligible employees who work for employers covered by the FMLA when the employee experience qualifying events such as the birth of a new child or a serious health condition.

The Guide contains a helpful graphic, called a Roadmap, which puts the various issues that employers should consider in an order that will allow them to determine their obligations to their employees under the FMLA.  The Roadmap begins with determining whether the FMLA covers the employer, continues to what a covered employer must do to educate employees on their FMLA rights, and then moves on to what covered employers should do when they have an employee who may be eligible for FMLA due to a qualifying reason.

Employees who need to miss work because of their own health issues, family members’ health issues, the birth or adoption of a new child, or because of a family members’ military obligations should consult this Guide.  If you are concerned that your employer is not following the FMLA, the Guide may help you to understand what the law requires in your particular situation.  But if you are unsure what the law requires, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer, such as the lawyers at the Maine Employee Rights Group, as early as possible.  We are usually better positioned to help you protect your rights and your job if you contact us sooner rather than later.  We can also give you advice on how Maine’s family medical leave laws may apply to your situation in addition to the FMLA.