New FMLA Forms, GINA and the Information You DON’T Want

Using one federal agency’s forms should satisfy other federal agencies – right?  The answer: not exactly. The Department of Labor (USDoL) has updated its optional FMLA forms and has given them a 2015 expiration date (they are unlikely to make it to 2015 due to changes needed).  If the FMLA forms you’re using do not say “Expires 2/28/2015” in the upper right hand corner, go to the USDoL web site and get new forms.  See http://webapps.dol.gov/libraryforms.   

Simple right?  But the Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) is enforced by the EEOC and became effective on November 21, 2009. GINA provides ”safe harbor” language that should be in any request for information about an employee that might include information about “genetic testing” or hereditary diseases such as a family medical history information.  To avoid getting information you do NOT want to receive, the EEOC has provided “safe harbor” language that can be included in any request for medical information.  This information needs to be added to any request for medical information about an employee or family member, including the USDoL’s FMLA forms:

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of an applicant or employee, except as specifically allowed by this law. Consideration of family medical history information may violate GINA.  To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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