New FMLA Forms from Department of Labor Omit Critical Information

Kegler Brown E-mployment Alert

In mid-February, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued new FMLA forms to be used by employers when employees request leaves of absence for medical reasons. The forms are identical to those they replace and have an expiration date of February 28, 2015. Unfortunately, the DOL forms do not include the mandatory language relating to the disclosure of genetic information required by the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”). GINA requires that the following language be included in any request for medical information:

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information on 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 in 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 genetics test, 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.

The above language must be included with any FMLA forms in order to make use of GINA safe harbor provisions. Click here to find a PDF file that contains the new DOL form for employees requesting leave for their own serious medical condition and a short letter, which we advise be stapled to the FMLA form when it is provided to employees. Forms for other types of FMLA leave are available from the DOL website.