The U.S. DOL has issued updated Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms that carry a new expiration date of February 28, 2015, but otherwise include no substantive changes.

The DOL forms had carried an expiration date of December 31, 2011, and in the first few weeks of the new year employers had been told to continue using the outdated forms. Experts are somewhat disappointed that the agency did not include any references to:

  • The additional FMLA rights under the new military leave provisions
  • The "safe harbor" privacy language under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Under GINA, employers requesting medical certifications must instruct healthcare providers not to provide any genetic information about an individual. For that reason, employers might want to include some separate GINA wording with their FMLA certification requests. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggests the following:

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of employees or their family members. In order to comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when 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 genetic tests, 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.