The FMLA — Finally, in Plain English

We get lots and lots (and lots) of questions about the Family and Medical Leave Act. Apparently, so does the government.

In response, the U.S. Department of Labor has released a new Employee Guide to the FMLA, a “plain language booklet designed to answer common FMLA questions and clarify who can take FMLA leave and what protections the FMLA provides.”

It’s actually a nifty little resource. Your employees are reading it — so should you.

Specific questions/answers include:

  • Who can take leave?
  • When can they take it?
  • How do they take it?
  • What rights do employees have?
  • What obligations do employers have?
  • How does the medical certification process really work?
  • How does the return to work process really work?
  • How do employees file complaints if the employer messes things up?

The guide contains a handy flow chart to determine FMLA eligibility, defines key terms and maps out the leave process. The Department of Labor also created a supplementary webinar.

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Click here to download the guide in PDF format.

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at


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