DOL New FMLA Opinion Letter: DON’T Delay Compliance!


May 01, 2019


Melissa Fleischer

  03:00 PM ET | 02:00 PM CT | 12:00 PM PT | 90 Minutes

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This program has been approved for 1.5 PDCs toward SHRM certification hours.
The program is pre-approved for 1.5 credit hour under HRCI


On March 14, DOL issued an Opinion Letter on FMLA. According to the DOL's opinion letter, an employer is prohibited from delaying the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave, even if the delay is upon the request of or preferred by the employee.

Most HR and benefits professionals would likely agree that when it comes to managing FMLA, it’s easier said than done. It’s not as straightforward as it was intended to be. There seems to be obstacles every step of the way − from establishing reduced work schedules and initial physician certifications to getting second opinions and recordkeeping; deciding whether to use the calendar-year method or rolling twelve-month method for calculating FMLA leave, and all the steps between.

In addition, there are ever present concerns over not running afoul of related military caregiver and state requirements along with how to define a “serious” health condition. All together, FMLA represents a significant challenge for HR and benefits professionals, and one that if not done correctly invites employee abuse and potential legal liability for all employers.

With the issuance of DOL’s Opinion Letter, employer also cannot designate more than twelve weeks of leave as FMLA leave, though 26 weeks of military caregiver leave are allowed. Employers must now begin clocking FMLA leaves once an absence falls under federal protection.

This very important and informative webinar by Melissa Fleischer, Esq., a sought-after HR advisor and employment law attorney, will take a deep-dive into the DOL’s new FMLA opinion letter and how that may change an employer's compliance obligations under this challenging law.

In this session, Melissa provides a comprehensive analysis of the requirements set forth in the FMLA relating to leave of absences and offers a step-by-step plan of action when employees are out on a leave of absence, all in compliance with legal requirements. She also shares best practices for administering the FMLA in your workplace.

Session Highlights:

  • In-depth discussion of the FMLA's new opinion letter
  • How the March 14 Opinion Letter may change an employer's compliance obligations under the FMLA
  • Step-by-step checklist for how to ensure FMLA compliance; from when employee first takes leave until the end of the leave
  • Reviewing HR’s responsibilities for ensuring that the employee is eligible and is taking leave for an FMLA-qualifying reason
  • The legal definition of a serious health condition and how to apply this definition when approving FMLA leave
  • Learn the definitions of parent, spouse and child
  • Tips on counting the 12-month period
  • Medical certifications and recertifications: What you can and cannot do?
  • Intermittent and reduced schedule leave
  • Reinstatement to the same or an equivalent job
  • Tips for drafting a legally compliant FMLA policy

Also Includes:

  • Live Q&A session with speaker
  • PowerPoint presentation for reference
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Re-certification credits

Who Will Benefit:

  • HR Professionals
  • Benefits managers
  • Supervisors
  • Training managers
  • In-house counsel
  • Financial officers
  • C-Suite
  • Small and medium business owners

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