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DFEH Provides On-Line Non-Supervisory Training – U.S. Dept. of Labor Revises FMLA Forms

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Non-Supervisory Training Programs Available On-Line

While we are all currently overwhelmed addressing workplace concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers must continue to deal with non-COVID-19 workplace concerns including staying compliant with the obligations and requirements imposed upon California employers.

One of the non-COVID-19 obligations is to provide sexual harassment prevention training to ALL employees.  As has been previously reported, the State of California requires employers with 5 or more employees conduct sexual harassment prevention training to all employees. The training can be conducted in a classroom or by other effective interactive training and education methods; one hour for non-supervisory employees and two hours for supervisors. The training must be conducted every other year and the first year of compliance for non-supervisory employees is January 1, 2021.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently released their free online sexual harassment prevention training for BOTH supervisory and non-supervisory employees which can be used to meet the legal requirements.

Online Interactive Harassment Prevention Training
The DFEH’s new training program is both interactive and optimized for mobile devices. It is also accessible for persons with disabilities. The training is currently available in English and will be available in five additional languages in the coming months (Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean).
The on line training program, in the available languages, can be accessed through the DFEH’s website at: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/shpt/
Employer Requirements
Once employees have completed the training, employers have the following obligations:
  • Retain a record of all employees’ training for a minimum of two years.
  • Provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to employees every two years.
  • Provide employees with a poster or fact sheet developed by the Department regarding Sexual Harassment, or equivalent information.
For additional information the DFEH has published a Frequently Asked Questions page.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REVISES FMLA FORMS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced that significant steps have been undertaken to improve workers’ and employers’ experiences with the use of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The WHD released revised, streamlined optional forms that employers and workers can use when applying for and coordinating FMLA leave.

The U.S. Dept of Labor’s new forms are intended to be easier to understand and simpler to use. The changes include fewer questions that require written responses and have been replaced by statements that can be completed by checking a box and permits for electronic signatures. The changes reduce the amount of time it takes a healthcare provider to provide information and helps leave administrators review and communicate information to employees more directly and with greater clarity, reducing the likelihood of violations.

The WHD’s website can be found here and includes links to General Guidance, Fact Sheets, E-Tools, Posters, Forms, Interpretive Guidance and applicable laws and regulations.

The specific forms which have been updated include the following:

Notice Forms

Employers covered by the FMLA are obligated to provide their employees with certain critical notices about the FMLA so that both the employees and the employer have a shared understanding of the terms of the FMLA leave. Employers can use the following forms to provide the notices required under the FMLA.

  • General Notice, the FMLA poster – satisfies the requirement that every covered employer display or post an informative general notice about the FMLA. This notice can also be used by employers with eligible employees to satisfy their obligation also to provide FMLA general notice to employees in written leave guidance (e.g., handbook) or individually upon hire.
  • Eligibility Notice, form WH-381 – informs the employee of his or her eligibility for FMLA leave or at least one reason why the employee is not eligible.
  • Rights and Responsibilities Notice, form WH-381 (combined with the Eligibility Notice) – informs the employee of the specific expectations and obligations associated with the FMLA leave request and the consequences of failure to meet those obligations.
  • Designation Notice, form WH-382 – informs the employee whether the FMLA leave request is approved; also informs the employee of the amount of leave that is designated and counted against the employee’s FMLA entitlement. An employer may also use this form to inform the employee that the certification is incomplete or insufficient and additional information is needed.
Certification Forms
Certification is an optional tool provided by the FMLA for employers to use to request information to support certain FMLA-qualifying reasons for leave. An employee can provide the required information contained on a certification form in any format, such as on the letterhead of the healthcare provider, or official documentation issued by the military.
There are five DOL optional-use FMLA certification forms.
Certification of Healthcare Provider for a Serious Health Condition
Certification of Military Family Leave
For more information about the FMLA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 1-866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

This Newsletter is intended as a brief summary of employment law. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is not intended to serve as “legal advice,” or to establish an attorney-client relationship. If additional information is needed on any of the topics contained herein, please contact our office. All rights reserved. ©2020.