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September 23, 2020

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DOL Seeks to Improve Employers’ FMLA Forms

The Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice seeking comment on proposed revisions to its Wage and Hour Division’s optional-use forms that employers often use to implement the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The proposed revisions aim to improve FMLA compliance and administration by making the forms easier to understand and use for employers, leave administrators, health care providers, and employees seeking leave. The DOL anticipates that the revisions will ultimately improve customer service and reduce the burden on the public.

The proposed revisions to the FMLA forms include:

  • Fewer questions requiring written responses. Statements that can be verified by checking a box replace some questions.

  • Reorganization of medical certification forms to increase efficiency in determining whether a medical condition is a serious health condition, as defined by the FMLA.

  • Clarifications to reduce the demand on health care providers for follow-up information.

  • Changes to the qualifying exigency certification form to provide clarity to employees about what information is required.

  • Additional information on the notification forms to better communicate to employees specific information about leave conditions.

  • Changes to the military caregiver leave forms to improve consistency and ease of use.

  • Layout and style changes to reduce blank space and improve readability.

The DOL seeks public comment on the proposed revisions that will assist in its evaluation of the efficacy of these revisions. In particular, the DOL is interested in comments that aim to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected and minimize the burden of collecting information. Employers are strongly encouraged to participate in the comment process. Comments close October 4, 2019. Find the proposed revisions to the FMLA forms as well as details on how to comment here.

Copyright © by Ballard Spahr LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 240


About this Author

Brain Pedrow, Ballard Spahr law firm, employment, labor, and employee benefit dispute lawyer

Brian D. Pedrow is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group. He represents employers and management in the full scope of matters related to employment, labor, and employee benefit disputes. Mr. Pedrow's practice includes all facets of employment-related litigation, such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and employment-based torts. He also has a significant practice representing benefit plans, fiduciaries, and plan sponsors in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation arising from benefits eligibility...

David Fryman Litigation Labor Employment Attorney

David S. Fryman is a member of Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group. David represents employers in all types of labor and employment matters, including labor arbitrations, employment discrimination, and wage and hour cases; union representation campaigns and unfair labor practice proceedings; ERISA and employee benefits litigation; restrictive covenant and trade secret cases; and advice and training on a broad range of day-to-day human resource issues.

Representative Matters

  • Tried numerous employment discrimination cases to verdict

  • Represented multinational corporations and health care institutions in discrimination and wage and hour class actions filed by current and former employees, and ERISA class actions filed by plan participants

  • Prosecuted and defended multiple preliminary injunction actions seeking to enforce noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements

  • Represented three prominent research universities in proceedings involving graduate student unionization before the National Labor Relations Board and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board

  • Assisted employers in developing affirmative action plans and responding to OFCCP audits

  • Represented employers being investigated for safety and wage and hour violations

  • Conducted internal investigations into allegations of harassment and employee misconduct

  • Negotiated and drafted many executive employment agreements

  • Provided training on several topics, including union avoidance, prohibited harassment, and the FMLA, ADA, and FLSA

Pro Bono Experience

David has worked on pro bono matters large and small, representing individuals and nonprofit organizations. For the last several years, he has been part of a team of Ballard lawyers seeking to overturn the murder conviction and death sentence of an inmate on Pennsylvania's death row.


Recognition & Accomplishments

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers – Fellow, 2016

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, labor and employment law, 2007-2018

The Best Lawyers in America, labor law, employment law, and labor and employment litigation, 2012-2019

Named Best Lawyers' 2012 Philadelphia Labor Lawyer of the Year

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Recipient, Ballard Spahr's 2012 Alan J. Davis Award, for his pro bono work as leader of the Daniel Dougherty Capital Defense team

Recipient, The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly's "Lawyers on the Fast Track" award, given to select young Pennsylvania lawyers whose achievements have distinguished them among their peers

Honoree for work in support of the mission of People's Emergency Center (PEC), provider of emergency shelter, transitional housing, and social services to homeless women and their children, 1997


Chapter author, "The Complex World of ERISA Preemption," ERISA: A Comprehensive Guide, Third Edition

Co-author, "Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants: Keep Your Secrets Safe and Your Employees Honest," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's 10th Annual Employment Law Institute (Vol. II)

Christopher Kelly, Ballard Spahr Law Firm, Philadelphia, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney

Christopher J. Kelly is an attorney in Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment group. Chris has represented both public and private employers in a broad range of litigated matters, including wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, breach of contract, unfair competition, and wrongful termination, and employment- and business-related tort claims in both state and federal courts across the country.

Chris has served as lead counsel in a variety of matters and conducted trials to verdict and judgment. He has handled...