The U.S. Department of Labor FMLA Branch Chief Helen Applewhaite recently announced the agencies’ renewed focus on conducting more on-site compliance investigations (“pivotal year for FMLA enforcement”). The DOL’s stated intent is two-fold: (1) to increase its investigators’ access to information; and (2) save time by reviewing the employer’s documents and interviewing employees on-site.
A DOL spokesman mentioned key focal points the agency is most concerned about, a list that includes exactly the type of violations that we frequently see employers having difficulty understanding and complying with. Examples include:Refusing to authorize FMLA leave for an eligible employee; Discouraging a worker from using FMLA leave; Making someone’s request for or use of FMLA leave a negative factor in employment actions, such as hiring, promotions or disciplinary actions; and Systemic violations.
The best advice for employers in light of the DOL’s announcement that they will be increasing on-site investigations is, with the assistance of outside counsel, conductContinue Reading