With the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993, American workers achieved a greater balance between their work and family lives.
If eligible for FMLA coverage, employees have the ability to take unpaid leaves of absence for significant family events, crises, and personal medical events.
Although the overall impact of FMLA has been positive, the legislation placed additional burdens on employers. Even though it is unpaid, a twelve-week leave introduces chaos and disruption into the workplace, especially if the affected worker is a key employee. When leaves end, employees tend to be more focused, but depending on the severity of the crisis, it's also possible that the employer will have to maintain an open position for a worker that won't ultimately rejoin the workforce at the end of a three-month absence.
The burden on employers is increased by Family and Medical Leave Act poster requirements. These requirements are designed to notify workers about their rights and to clarify any lingering confusion regarding the criteria for an FMLA leave.
Am I required to display the poster?
Under FMLA guidelines, all covered employers must display Family and Medical Leave Act posters. Here's what that means: if your business employs more than 50 employees for at least twenty weeks of the calendar year, you are covered by FMLA and subject to poster requirements.
What are the display requirements?
Posters have to be displayed continuously and prominently in the workplace. The poster has to be large enough to be read from a reasonable distance and clearly legible. Additionally, if you are an FMLA eligible employer, you're required to display the poster even if none of your employees are eligible for FMLA leaves.
What does the poster need to contain?
FMLA posters must contain Family and Medical Leave Act provisions and describe the process employees can follow to file a complaint against the employer. If a large segment of your workforce speaks a foreign language (e.g. Spanish), your poster may need to include the required content in that language.
To facilitate compliance for covered employers, the U.S. Department of Labor provides templates of approved FMLA posters on their website at www.dol.gov.