The Department of Labor has created a new FMLA notice that employers must hang in plain sight of employees. Employers with posters that contain the same information as the new document can continue to use the ones they already have. This poster must be displayed for workers and applicants even if none of them are currently eligible to receive any leave through FMLA.
If employees are eligible for FMLA, they must be notified of their rights and responsibilities under the act as well as the employer’s responsibilities. A copy of the notice must also be provided to employees either through a handbook or some other form of standard correspondence. It also must be written in a language that workers understand if a majority of them do not speak or read in English.
Employers that would rather not go through their leave policies and create new materials have the option of attaching the new poster to their existing handbooks. There are penalties for companies that refuse to comply with FMLA requirements. A penalty of $110 applies to each worker who does not receive information in compliance with the DOL’s guidelines. Companies that don’t want to pass out paper copies of the new poster may do so electronically if they still meet all existing requirements.
Employees who believe that they may have had their FMLA rights violated may wish to speak with a lawyer. An attorney could review the facts of their case and investigate whether they were told of their rights as required. If a worker’s rights were violated, he or she may be entitled to financial damages.