Recordkeeping Requirements for FMLA

By Virginia Gaskin
FMLA records are to be kept on file for up to three years.

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The Department of Labor has the right to request review of records once a year in regard to an employees Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) implemented benefits. These documents need to be kept on file for at least three years in accordance with the FMLA and the Fair Labor Standards Act. If a complaint or compliance is being investigated by the Department of Labor, the files can be requested more frequently than the usual once a year as stated in the guidelines.

Payroll Information

Under FMLA record-keeping guidelines, it is important keep records of the employee's legal name, address and job title. Also provide the frequency of pay for the work performed and the amount paid per hour, weekly or by salary. Document any bonuses or cuts in pay, prepayment of any benefits and the grand total of compensation paid the employee.

Leaves Taken

When an employee uses FMLA leave, the record keeper must keep track of the dates when the leave is taken. Also, if an employee only takes a few hours off and works some hours within the same day, the number of hours of leave taken must be documented.

Documented Communications

The Labor and Employment Law Blog says to keep on file, "copies of employee notices of leave furnished to the employer under FMLA if in writing, and copies of all general and specific written notices given to employees as required under FMLA." Also ensure that written policies in hard copy form or electronic versions that describe employee benefits in regards to taking leave from work are easily accessible.

Dispute Records

Any time a dispute comes up regarding FMLA leave from work between the eligible employee and the employer, documents should be kept on file recording this dispute. Internal or e-mail communication describing why the dispute is occurring, the reason for the employee's FMLA leave and any other pertinent information should be filed for review as well.

Medical Records

Documents regarding medical conditions of the employee or the family member's specific medical data needs to be filed in a separate location from the eligible employee's personnel file. If the situation applies, these records may also need to be kept in compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or both, whichever applies.

About the Author

Virginia Gaskin graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications. She has written articles for the Richmond Register newspaper and has also written articles and copy on websites since 1997.

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