DOL Eases FMLA Compliance Regarding Telemedicine Visits and Required Postings
January 07, 2021
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued two guidance bulletins addressing compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The first made clear that telemedicine visits will permanently be allowed as an FMLA-approved "in person visit" if specific criteria are met. The telemedicine visit must: include an examination, an evaluation, or treatment by a healthcare provider; be permitted and accepted by state licensing authorities; and must be performed by videoconference. A telephone call, letter, email, or text message still will not qualify under the FMLA as treatment by a healthcare provider. The second permits employers to provide FMLA-required postings electronically to employees when the work is being performed remotely. The DOL announced it will consider electronic posting to satisfy the FMLA posting requirements where all hiring and work is done remotely and an employer posts the appropriate FMLA notice on an internal or external website that is accessible to all employees and applicants. The employer must inform employees of where and how to access the notice electronically. Where an employer has some employees on-site and other employees teleworking full time, the employer should still meet the hard-copy posting requirement but may supplement a hard-copy posting with an electronic posting.