Are You Required to Display the FMLA Poster for Your Employees?
Under various federal laws, U.S. employers are required to display up to six federal labor law posters in a conspicuous location where all employees can view them. One of those six postings is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster.
The FMLA poster summarizes the major provisions of the federal employee leave law, including details on how employees can file a complaint. It is mandatory for all private employers with 50 or more employees, as well as all public agencies regardless of the number of employees.
Understanding the FMLA
The FMLA was passed in 1993 to allow employees to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The legislation is intended to “balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of the families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity.” In other words, it helps employees manage certain health-related family issues without the risk of losing their jobs or benefits due to excessive absence.
The FMLA applies to any private company that has 50 or more employees on the payroll (including part-timers and employees on leave) during 20 or more workweeks (not necessarily consecutive) in the current or preceding calendar year. The FMLA also applies to public agencies, including state, local and federal employers, and local education agencies – regardless of the number of employees.
Assuming you’re a covered employer, your employees are eligible for leave under the FMLA if they have worked for you for at least 12 months and a minimum of 1,250 hours. Additionally, they must work at a location where at least 50 employees work (including all employees within 75 miles of that location).
You must grant an eligible employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for any of the following reasons:
- The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care
- To bond with a child (leave must be taken within one year of the child’s birth or placement)
- To care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a qualifying serious health condition
- For the employee’s own qualifying serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his/her job
- For qualifying situations related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee’s spouse, child or parent
Be aware, too, that an eligible employee who is a covered service member’s spouse, child, parent or next of kin may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for the service member with a serious injury or illness.
Did You Know?
Labor law postings are an important line of defense against government fines and employee lawsuits. The FMLA specifies, “Failure to follow the notice requirements … may constitute an interference with, restraint or denial of the exercise of an employee’s FMLA rights.”.
About the FMLA Poster
The FMLA poster, issued and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is titled, “Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act.” It covers:
- Leave entitlements
- Benefits & protections
- Eligibility requirements
- Requesting leave
- Employer responsibilities
This poster must be displayed in plain view where all employees and job applicants can readily see it. If a significant portion of your employees do not read and write English, you must provide the poster in a language in which they can read and write. (Note that the law does not define “significant portion.”)
In addition to displaying the mandatory FMLA poster, you must provide a written notice of this information within five business days of an employee requesting FMLA leave. Next, you must allow at least 15 calendar days for an employee to submit a completed certification form. Finally, within five business days of receiving the certification form, you must provide a company response/designation form indicating whether or not the request has been approved.
You’re also required to give the FMLA written notice to all employees, either by including it in an employee handbook or by distributing the information to employees at hiring.
How to Satisfy Your FMLA Posting Responsibilities
Poster Guard® Compliance Protection Protection includes a current FMLA poster among the full set of federal, state, county and city posters included in the service. Even if you’re an employer with fewer than 50 employees, it’s a sound business practice to display this posting in your workplace because it clearly explains employee eligibility – including situations where it does not apply. Plus, you’ll be covered in case your business grows beyond 50 employees, at which point you’ll be required to display it.