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New FMLA booklet issued for employers

Many Pennsylvania employees may not realize that when it comes to many aspects of the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers and even human resources professionals are not very well-versed in the issues and exceptions that may arise. In response to this, the Department of Labor has issued a new FMLA guide that attempts to clarify some of these issues.

There is a flow chart at the beginning of the booklet that walks the employer through regulations and paperwork, and the guide is in chronological order. It is divided into sections that describe the steps of the FMLA process, give practical examples, and have "Did You Know?" passages that touch on lesser-known aspects of FMLA.

Military caregiver laws are one aspect of FMLA that employers are unfamiliar with, and the new guide covers this in detail. It discusses what employers can do with various types of documentation and what is not permitted, and it discusses relevant FMLA regulations. However, it does not cover matters of interpretation and sticks only to the facts.

Unfortunately, the nature of FMLA means that employees may find themselves trying to navigate regulations during a very stressful time. Because of the complexity of the act, some employers may violate regulations without meaning to. However, if an employee applies for leave and is denied or faces termination or other retaliation, from a legal standpoint, it is not important whether or not the action was deliberate. Even human resources professionals may make mistakes, and workers who think that their FMLA rights are being violated might want to talk to an attorney to see what recourse may be available.

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