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Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notice Requirements

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You have indicated that:

  • You want Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notice Requirements
  • The nature of your business or organization is: State or local government
  • Your establishment is located in: South Dakota

Based on the information you provided in response to the questions in the Advisor, the following employment laws administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) likely apply to your business or organization. Please note that the Advisor covers only the major employment laws administered by DOL. In addition, the Advisor does not identify laws administered by other federal agencies that might be applicable to your business or organization. The recordkeeping, reporting and notice requirements, if any, are provided for each of these laws.

In addition to posters of general application, certain organizations may be required to display posters that can only be obtained from DOL's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). More information on these posters is available. Links to federal employment posters are always available on the Poster Page. Please note that some localities have workplace poster requirements, as do some other federal agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development which requires certain businesses to post its Equal Housing Opportunity poster.

Note that Governmental retirement and health plans are not subject to Title I of ERISA.  Generally, a governmental plann means a plan established or maintained for its employees by the Government of the United States, by the government of any state or political subdivision thereof, or by any agency or instrumentality of the foregoing. A governmental plan also includes any plan to which the Railroad Retirement Act of 1935 or 1937 applies and which is financed by contributions required under that act. It also includes any plan of an international organization which is exempted from taxation under the International Organizations Immunities Act.

Federal government plans may be subject to similar provisions. For more information see U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Nonfederal governmental plans (e.g., state and local) may be subject to provisions in the Public Health Service Act. For more information see U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Thank you for using the Department of Labor's FirstStep Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notice Requirements Advisor. If you need information on state recordkeeping, reporting and notice requirements, including state poster requirements, please contact your state labor office. For information on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recordkeeping requirements, see their recordkeeping and reporting Web page. Please visit the FirstStep Employment Law Overview Advisor if you are interested in all the provisions of a federal employment law.


Consumer Credit Protection Act

Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits the amount of an employee's earnings that may be garnished. It also protects an employee from being fired because the employee's pay is garnished for only one debt.

Title III is administered by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), of the Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration. The Wage and Hour Division has no other authority with regard to garnishments. Questions over issues other than the amount being garnished or termination should be referred to the court or agency initiating the withholding action.

There are no poster, notice, recordkeeping or reporting requirements under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Consumer Credit Protection Act on the Compliance Assistance "By Law"(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-ccpa.htm) Web page.

More detailed information, including copies of explanatory brochures and regulatory and interpretative materials such as the Federal Wage Garnishment Law Fact Sheet(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs30.pdf), may be obtained from the Wage and Hour Division’s Web site(http://www.dol.gov/whd/) or by contacting a local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) generally prevents private sector employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment, with certain exceptions.  Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the Act.

EPPA excludes federal, state and local government agencies from the Act's coverage, with respect to public employees.  Lie detector tests may also be administered by the Federal Government to employees of Federal contractors engaged in national security intelligence or counterintelligence functions.

EPPA includes limited exemptions that allow for the administration of polygraph tests (but no other lie detector tests) by private sector employers:

Subject to restrictions, the Act permits polygraph (a type of lie detector) tests to be administered to certain job applicants of security service firms (armored car, alarm, and guard) and of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers.

Subject to restrictions, the Act also permits polygraph testing of certain employees of private firms who are reasonably suspected of involvement in a workplace incident (theft, embezzlement, etc.) that resulted in specific economic loss or injury to the employer.

Where polygraph examinations are permitted under the Act, they are subject to strict standards concerning the conduct of the test, including the pre-test, testing, and post-test phases of the examination.

The Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces the EPPA.

Notices/Posters

Poster.  Every employer subject to EPPA shall post and keep posted on its premises a notice explaining the Act. The notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment. There is no size requirement for the poster. 

The EPPA poster is available in English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppa.htm) and Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppaspan.htm). Posting of the EPPA poster in Spanish is optional.

Notices.  There are specific notices that must be given to examinees and examiners in instances where polygraph tests are permitted:

When a polygraph test is administered pursuant to the economic loss or injury exemption, the employer is required to provide the examinee with a statement prior to the test, in a language understood by the examinee, which fully explains the specific incident or activity being investigated and the basis for testing particular employees. The statement must contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • An identification with particulars on the specific economic loss or injury to the business of the employer
  • A description of the employee’s access to the property that is the subject of the investigation
  • A detailed description of the basis of the employer’s reasonable suspicion that the employee was involved in the incident or activity under investigation
  • The signature of a person (other than the polygraph examiner) authorized to legally bind the employer

Every employer who requests an employee or prospective employee to submit to a polygraph examination, pursuant to the ongoing investigation, drug manufacturer, or security services EPPA exemptions, must provide:

  • Reasonable written notice of the date, time, and place of the examination and the examinee’s right to consult with legal counsel or an employee representative before each phase of the test.
  • Written notice of the nature and characteristics of the polygraph instrument and examination
  • Extensive written notice explaining the examinee's rights, including a list of prohibited questions and topics, the examinee's right to terminate the examination, and the examinee's right to file a complaint with the Department of Labor alleging violations of EPPA

Employers must also provide written notice to the examiner identifying the persons to be examined.

Recordkeeping

In the limited instances where EPPA permits the administration of polygraph tests, recordkeeping requirements apply both to employers and polygraph examiners. Employers and polygraph examiners must retain required records for a minimum of three years from the date the polygraph examination is conducted (or from the date the examination is requested if no examination is conducted). 

Employers investigating an economic loss or injury must maintain a copy of the statement that sets forth the specific incident or activity under investigation and the basis for testing that particular employee and proof of service of that statement to the examinee.

Employers who manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances must maintain records specifically identifying the loss or injury in question and the nature of the employee’s access to the person or property that is the subject of the investigation.

Every employer who requests an employee or prospective employee to submit to a polygraph examination pursuant to the ongoing investigation, drug manufacturer, or security services EPPA exemptions must maintain:

  • A copy of the written statement that sets forth the time and place of the examination and the examinee’s right to consult with counsel
  • A copy of the written notice provided by the employer to the examiner identifying the persons to be examined
  • Copies of all opinions, reports or other records furnished to the employer by the examiner relating to such examinations

All polygraph examiners must maintain all opinions, reports, charts, written questions, lists, and other records relating to polygraph tests of such persons, as well as records of the number of examinations conducted during each day, and the duration of each test period.

All exempt private sector employers and polygraph examiners retained to administer examinations to persons identified by employers must keep the required records safe and accessible at the place or places of employment or business or at one or more established central recordkeeping offices where employment or examination records are customarily maintained. If the records are maintained at a central recordkeeping office, other than in the place or places of employment or business, such records must be made available within 72 hours following notice from the Secretary of Labor or an authorized representative such as Wage and Hour Division personnel.

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements under EPPA.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information, including copies of explanatory brochures and regulatory and interpretative materials, may be obtained from a local Wage and Hour office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm).

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Employee Polygraph Protection Act. Compliance assistance related to the Act, including the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) Fact Sheet(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs36.pdf), and regulatory and interpretive materials, is available on the Compliance Assistance "By Law"(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-eppa.htm) Web page.

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. The FLSA requires employers to pay covered nonexempt employees a minimum wage of not less than $5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007; $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. For more information see the Wage and Hour Basic Information Fact Sheet.

An employee may be covered by the FLSA in two ways: "enterprise coverage" and "individual coverage." For more detail on FLSA coverage, see Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #14: Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Special rules apply to state and local government employment involving fire protection and law enforcement activities, volunteer services, and compensatory time off instead of cash overtime pay.

Some employees are exempt from overtime pay or both the minimum wage and overtime pay. Because exemptions are generally narrowly defined under the FLSA, an employer should carefully check the exact terms and conditions for each. Detailed information is available from the local Wage and Hour Division office

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor administers and enforces the FLSA with respect to private employment, state and local government employment, and federal employees of the Library of Congress, U.S. Postal Service, Postal Rate Commission, and Tennessee Valley Authority.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management administers the provisions of the FLSA with respect to any person employed by a Federal agency. 

Notices/Posters

Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post, and keep posted, a notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) explaining the Act in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments. Although there is no size requirement for the poster, employees must be able to readily read it. The FLSA poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsaspan.htm), Chinese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwagecn.pdf), Russian(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/FLSAPosterRuss.pdf), Thai,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageThai.pdf) Hmong,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageHmong.pdf) Vietnamese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageViet.pdf), and Korean(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageKorean.pdf).  There is no requirement to post the poster in languages other than English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm).

Covered employers are required to post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster; however, certain industries have posters designed specifically for them. Employers of Agricultural Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1386Agrcltr.pdf) and State & Local Government Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1385State.pdf) can either post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) or their specific industry poster. There are also posters for American Samoa (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/americanSamoa/ASminwagePoster.pdf) and Northern Mariana Islands (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/cnmi.pdf)

Every employer who employs workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates is also required to post the Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage Poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/disab.htm).

Recordkeeping

Every employer covered by the FLSA must keep certain records for each covered(http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/overtime/glossary.htm?wd=covered), nonexempt (http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/overtime/glossary.htm?wd=non_exempt)worker. Employers must keep records on wages, hours, and other information as set forth in the Department of Labor's regulations. Most of this data is the type that employers generally maintain in ordinary business practice.

There is no required form for the records. However, the records must include accurate information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The following is a listing of the basic payroll records that an employer must maintain:

  • Employee's full name, as used for Social Security purposes, and on the same record, the employee's identifying symbol or number if such is used in place of name on any time, work, or payroll records
  • Address, including zip code
  • Birth date, if younger than 19
  • Sex and occupation
  • Time and day of week when employee's workweek begins
  • Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek
  • Basis on which employee's wages are paid (e.g., "$9 per hour", "$440 a week", "piecework")
  • Regular hourly pay rate
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek
  • All additions to or deductions from the employee's wages
  • Total wages paid each pay period
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment

For a full listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements Under the FLSA(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs21.pdf). Employers are required to preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, and sales and purchase records. Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years. These include time cards and piecework tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages.

Reporting

The FLSA does not contain any specific reporting requirements; however, the above referenced records must be open for inspection by the Wage and Hour Division's representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information about the FLSA, including copies of explanatory brochures and regulatory and interpretative materials, is available on the Wage and Hour Division's Web site(http://www.dol.gov/whd/), or by contacting a local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm). Another compliance assistance resource, the elaws Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor(http://www.dol.gov/elaws/flsa.htm), helps answers questions about workers and businesses that are subject to the FLSA.

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the FLSA. Among the many resources available are:

Additional compliance assistance information is available on the Compliance Assistance “By Law”(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-flsa.htm) Web page.

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) / Child Labor

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. For nonagricultural operations, the FLSA prohibits children under the age of 14 from working, restricts the hours that children ages 14 to 16 can work, and forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed "hazardous" by the Secretary of Labor. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed "hazardous" by the Secretary of Labor.

Section 14(b) of the FLSA authorizes certain types of employers to pay subminimum wages — wages less than the Federal minimum wage — to full-time students, but only after applying for and receiving a certificate from the Department of Labor.

A full-time student for purposes of this exception is an individual who:

  • Receives primarily daytime instruction at the physical location of a bona fide educational institution, in accordance with the institution’s accepted definition of a full-time student.
  • Retains that status during the student’s holiday recess, summer, and other vacations if local law requires attendance at the end of the vacation period. If attendance is not mandatory, full-time student status is determined by the student’s intention stated to the employer.
  • Has graduated from high school and informs the employer of plans to attend a college or university on a full-time basis at the end of the vacation period..

Full-time students may be employed under the subminimum (below minimum) wage provisions of Section 14(b) in retail or service establishments or in agriculture. An institution of higher education may also employ its full-time students at subminimum wages after making proper application. Such employment is permitted to the extent necessary so that employment opportunities for full-time students will not be curtailed.

Employers with proper certification must pay full-time students at least 85 percent of the applicable statutory minimum wage.  There are restrictions of the number of hours that an individual full-time student may be employed at subminimum wages.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor administers and enforces the FLSA with respect to private employment, state and local government employment, and federal employees of the Library of Congress, U.S. Postal Service, Postal Rate Commission, and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Notices/Posters

Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post, and keep posted, a notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) explaining the Act in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments. Although there is no size requirement for the poster, employees must be able to readily read it. The FLSA poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsaspan.htm), Chinese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwagecn.pdf), Russian(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/FLSAPosterRuss.pdf), Thai,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageThai.pdf) Hmong,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageHmong.pdf) Vietnamese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageViet.pdf), and Korean(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageKorean.pdf).  There is no requirement to post the poster in languages other than English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm).

Covered employers are required to post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster; however, certain industries have posters designed specifically for them.  Employers of Agricultural Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1386Agrcltr.pdf) and State & Local Government Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1385State.pdf) can either post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) or their specific industry poster.  There are also posters for American Samoa (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/americanSamoa/ASminwagePoster.pdf) and Northern Mariana Islands (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/cnmi.pdf)

Every employer who employs workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates is also required to post the Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage Poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/disab.htm).

Recordkeeping

Every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must keep certain records for each covered(http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/overtime/glossary.htm?wd=covered), nonexempt(http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/overtime/glossary.htm?wd=non_exempt) worker.

There is no required form for the records. However, the records must include accurate information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The following is a listing of the basic payroll records that an employer must maintain:

  • Employee's full name, as used for Social Security purposes, and on the same record, the employee's identifying symbol or number if such is used in place of name on any time, work, or payroll records
  • Address, including zip code
  • Birth date, if younger than 19
  • Sex and occupation
  • Time and day of week when employee's workweek begins
  • Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek
  • Basis on which employee's wages are paid (e.g., "$9 per hour", "$440 a week", "piecework")
  • Regular hourly pay rate
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek
  • All additions to or deductions from the employee's wages
  • Total wages paid each pay period
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment

For a full listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the FLSA(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs21.pdf). Employers are required to preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, and sales and purchase records. Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years. These include time cards and piecework tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages.

Reporting

The FLSA does not contain any specific reporting requirements; however, the above referenced records must be open for inspection by the Wage and Hour Division's representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the FLSA. Among the many resources available are:

Additional compliance assistance, including explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials, is available on the Compliance Assistance “By Law”(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-flsa.htm) Web page and the Wage and Hour Division Home Page(http://www.dol.gov/whd).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides a means for employees to balance their work and family responsibilities by taking unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, covered employees for the following reasons:

  • Birth and care of the eligible employee's child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee
  • Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition
  • Care of the employee's own serious health condition.

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division published a Final Rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The final rule becomes effective on January 16, 2009, and updates the FMLA regulations to implement new military family leave entitlements enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008. It also includes revisions in response to public comments received on the proposed rule issued in February 2008. The Federal Register Notice and related documents are available at Wage and Hour's FMLA Final Rule website.

FMLA also requires that the employee's group health insurance coverage be maintained under the same terms and conditions during the leave as if the employee had not taken leave.

The Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces FMLA for all private, state and local government employees, and some federal employees. Most Federal and certain congressional employees are also covered by the law and are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or the Congress.

Notices/Posters

Poster.  All covered employers are required to display and keep on display a poster explaining the provisions of the FMLA and telling employees how to file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of violations of the Act. The poster must be displayed prominently where employees and applicants for employment can see it .The poster and all the text must be large enough to be easily read and contain fully legible text.  Covered employers must display the poster even if no employees are eligible for FMLA leave.  

Where the employer’s workforce is comprised of a significant portion of workers who are not literate in English, the employer is required to provide the notice in a language in which the employees are literate.  To meet the posting requirements, employers may use the prototype poster prepared by the Department or may use another format so long as the information provided includes, at a minimum, all of the information contained in that notice.  Electronic posting is permitted as long as it meets all of the posting requirements.

The Department’s FMLA prototype poster is available in English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmla.htm) and Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaspan.htm)

Employer notices.  Covered employers are required to post a notice for employees outlining the basic provisions of the FMLA. Employers are also required to provide notice of an employee’s eligibility and rights and responsibilities under the FMLA and to designate qualifying leave as FMLA and provide notice of that designation, including the amount of leave that will count against the employee’s FMLA entitlement to the employee.  

General notice.  If a covered employer has any eligible employees, it must also provide general notice to each employee by including the notice in employee handbooks or other written guidance to employees concerning benefits or leave rights if such written materials exist.  If such written materials do not exist, the employer may accomplish this by distributing a copy of the general notice to each new employee upon hire.  In either case, distribution may be accomplished electronically. 

An employer may duplicate the text of the Poster to meet this general notice requirement, or may use another format so long as the information provided includes, at a minimum, all of the information contained in that notice.  Where an employer’s workforce is comprised of a significant portion of workers who are not literate in English, the employer must provide the general notice in a language in which the employees are literate.

Eligibility notice.  When an employee requests FMLA leave or the employer acquires knowledge that an employee’s leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason, the employer must notify the employee of the employee’s eligibility to take FMLA leave within five business days, absent extenuating circumstances. The eligibility notice must state whether the employee is eligible for FMLA leave, and if the employee is not eligible, must state at least one reason why the employee is not eligible.

The Department of Labor makes available a Prototype Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities Notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/wh-381.pdf) (Form WH-381), which employers may adapt as appropriate for their use to meet their eligibility and rights and responsibilities (see below) notice requirements.

Rights and Responsibilities notice. Each time the eligibility notice is provided, the employer is also required to provide a written notice detailing the specific expectations and obligations of the employee and explaining any consequences of a failure to meet these obligations. If leave has already begun, the employer should mail the notice to the employee’s address of record. The employer must translate this notice in any situation where it is obligated to translate the general notice into a language in which employees are literate. The written notice must also include information on:

  • Leave designated and counted against the employee’s annual FMLA leave entitlement if it qualifies as FMLA leave
  • The applicable 12-month period for the FMLA entitlement
  • Requirements for the employee to furnish certification of a serious health condition, serious injury or illness, or qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or call to active duty status, and the consequences of failing to do so
  • Employee’s right to substitute paid leave, whether the employer will require the substitution of paid leave, the conditions related to any substitution, and the employee’s entitlement to take unpaid FMLA leave if the employee does not meet the conditions for paid leave
  • Requirement for the employee to make any premium payments to maintain health benefits, the arrangements for making such payments, and the possible consequences of the failure to make such payments on a timely basis
  • Employee’s status as a “key employee” and the potential consequence that restoration may be denied following FMLA leave, explaining the conditions required for such denial
  • Employee’s rights to maintenance of benefits during the FMLA leave and to restoration to the same or an equivalent job upon return from leave
  • Employee’s potential liability for payment of health insurance premiums paid by the employer during the employee’s unpaid FMLA leave if the employee fails to return to work after taking FMLA leave

The specific notice may include other information such as whether the employer will require periodic reports of the employee’s status and intent to return to work, but is not required to do so. The notice of rights and responsibilities may be accompanied by any required certification form.

If the specific information provided by the notice changes, the employer must provide written notice referencing the prior notice and setting forth any of the information that has changed. This notice of changes should be provided within five business days of receipt of the employee's first notice of need for leave subsequent to any change.

The Department makes available a Prototype Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities Notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/WH-381.pdf) (Form WH-381), which employers may adapt as appropriate for their use to meet their eligibility and rights and responsibilities notice requirements.

Designation notice. The employer is responsible in all circumstances for designating leave as FMLA-qualifying and giving notice of the designation to the employee. When the employer has enough information to determine whether the leave is being taken for an FMLA-qualifying reason, such as after receiving a certification, the employer must notify the employee whether the leave is designated and will count as FMLA leave within five business days, absent extenuating circumstances. Only one designation notice for each FMLA-qualifying reason per applicable 12-month leave year is required. The employer must also notify the employee if it determines that the leave is not FMLA-qualifying and will not be designated as FMLA leave.

If the employer is requiring the employee to submit a fitness-for-duty certification to be restored to his or her job, the employer must provide notice of the requirement with the designation notice. If the employer will require that the fitness-for-duty certification address the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position, the employer must indicate so in the designation notice and include a list of the essential functions. If the employer handbook or other written documents describing the employer's leave policies clearly provide that a fitness-for-duty certification will be required in specific circumstances, the employer is not required to provide written notice of this requirement, but must provide at least oral notice no later than at the time off the designation notice.

The designation notice must be in writing. The Department of Labor makes available a prototype Designation Notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/WH-382.pdf) (Form WH-382) for employer’s use. If the leave is not designated as FMLA leave because it does not meet the requirements for FMLA protection, the notice that the leave is not designated FMLA may be in the form of a simple written statement. If the information provided by the employer to the employee in the designation notice changes, the employer must provide written notice of the change within five business days of receipt of the employee’s first notice of need for leave subsequent to the change.

Additionally, the employer must notify the employee of the amount of leave counted against his or her FMLA entitlement. If known at the time the leave is designated, the employer must notify the employee of the number of hours, days, or weeks that will be counted against the employee’s FMLA entitlement. If it is not possible to provide the hours, days, or weeks that will be counted against the entitlement (such as in the case of unforeseeable, intermittent leave), then the employer must provide notice of the amount of leave counted against the FMLA leave entitlement at the request of the employee, but no more often than once in a 30-day period and only if leave was taken in that period. Notice of the amount of leave taken may be oral, but if oral, must be confirmed in writing, generally by no later than the following payday; such written notice may be in any form, including a pay stub notation.

Recordkeeping

Employers are required to make, keep, and preserve records pertaining to their obligations under FMLA in accordance with the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FMLA does not require that employers keep their records in any particular order or form, or revise their computerized payroll or personnel records systems to comply.

Employers must keep the records for no less than three years and make them available for inspection, copying, and transcription by Department of Labor representatives upon request. Records kept in computer form must be made available for transcription and copying.

Covered employers who have eligible employees must maintain records that must disclose the following:

  • Basic payroll and identifying information (including name, address, and occupation)
  • Rate or basis of pay
  • Terms of compensation
  • Daily and weekly hours worked per pay period
  • Additions to or deductions from wages
  • Total compensation paid

In addition, covered employers who have eligible employees must also maintain records detailing:

  • Dates of FMLA leave taken by FMLA eligible employees. Leave must be designated in records as FMLA leave, and may not include leave required under state law or an employer plan which is not also covered by FMLA.
  • Hours of FMLA leave taken by FMLA eligible employees, if leave is taken in increments of less than one full day
  • Copies of employee notices of leave furnished to the employer
  • Copies of all written notices given to employees as required under FMLA
  • Documents describing employee benefits or employer paid and unpaid leave policies and practices
  • Premium payments of employee benefits
  • Records of disputes between the employer and the employee regarding FMLA

Records and documents relating to medical certifications, re-certifications or medical histories of employees or employees’ family members, created for purposes of FMLA, are required to be maintained as confidential medical records in separate files/records from the usual personnel files. If the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies, then these records must comply with the ADA confidentiality requirements. Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and necessary accommodations. First aid and safety personnel may be informed, where appropriate, if the employee’s physical or medical condition might require emergency treatment. Government officials investigating compliance must be provided access to relevant information.

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements under FMLA.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information, including copies of explanatory brochures, may be obtained by contacting the local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm). Compliance assistance information is also available from the Wage and Hour Division's Web site(http://www.wagehour.dol.gov). For additional assistance, contact the Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act. Among the many resources available are:

Additional compliance assistance including explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials is available on the Compliance Assistance “By Law”(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-fmla.htm) Web page.

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members' reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation.

The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) enforces USERRA.

Notices/Posters

Employers are required to provide to persons covered by USERRA a notice of the rights, benefits, and obligations of the employees and employers under USERRA.  To do this, employers may post the notice entitled “Your Rights Under USERRA(http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/USERRA_Private.pdf)” where employer notices are customarily placed, mail it, or by distributing it via electronic mail. There is no size requirement for the poster version of the notice.

Recordkeeping

There are no required records under USERRA.

Reporting

There are no required reports under USERRA.

Compliance Assistance Available

Compliance assistance information is available on the VETS Web site(http://www.dol.gov/vets/). Specific compliance assistance materials available include: the Department of Labor USERRA regulations (20 CFR Part 1002)(http://www.dol.gov/vets/regs/fedreg/final/2005023961.htm), which implement the law for non-federal employers; a fact sheet(http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/userra_fs.htm) about USERRA; and the notice/poster(http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/poster.htm) to employees of their rights, benefits, and obligations under USERRA. Copies of VETS publications, or answers to questions about USERRA, may also be obtained from a local VETS office(http://www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm).

Another compliance assistance resource, the elaws Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advisor(http://www.dol.gov/elaws/userra.htm), helps veterans understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits, and remedies under the Act.

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. Among the many resources are Frequently Asked Questions for Reservists being Called to Active Duty(http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_911_2.html), explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials which are available on the Compliance Assistance “By Law”(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-userra.htm) Web page.

DOL Contacts

Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)(http://www.dol.gov/vets/)
E-mail: contact-vets@dol.gov
Tel: 1-866-4USADOL (1-866-487-2365) or 1-202-693-4770; TTY: 1-877-889-5627


Whistleblower Protection Provisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and fifteen other statutes with whistleblower provisions statutes protect workers against retaliation for filing certain complaints with their employers, unions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or other government agencies. These protections cover complaints about workplace safety and health; the environment; pipeline safety; air carrier safety; nuclear safety; asbestos in schools; corporate fraud; SEC rules or regulations; commercial motor vehicle safety, health, or security; public transportation safety or security; railroad safety or security; or fraud, waste, or abuse of public funds intended to be used for public transportation or railroad safety or security; as well as other related protected activities.  Retaliation may include actions such as discharge or layoff, reductions in pay or hours, demotion, discipline, blacklisting, denial of overtime or promotion, failure to hire or rehire, or denial of benefits.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration administers and enforces the whistleblowing provisions of the OSH Act and the fifteen other statutes.

Notices/Posters

Posters. Although there is no specific Whistleblower Poster, the Whistleblower Protection provisions have the following poster requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA):

All employers covered by the OSH Act are required to display and keep displayed the OSHA “Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law(http://www.osha.gov/Publications/poster.html)” poster. The poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3167.pdf). There is a separate poster for Federal agencies(http://www.osha.gov/Publications/fedposter.html). This poster informs employees of their right to file a retaliation or discrimination complaint with OSHA for making safety and health complaints or for exercising rights under the OSH Act.

The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it.  Reproductions or facsimiles of the poster shall be at least 8 1/2 by 14 inches with 10 point type.  Posting of the notice in languages other than English is not required.

Employers covered by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA) must display the poster, “Your Rights Under the Energy Reorganization Act(http://www.whistleblowers.gov/acts/era_poster_2011.pdf),” where employees can readily see it.

Notices.  There are generally no notice requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA.  For other notice requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/osha.htm).

Notices. There are generally no notice requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA.  For other notice requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page.

Recordkeeping

There are generally no recordkeeping requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA. For other recordkeeping requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page.

Reporting

There are generally no reporting requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA.  For other reporting requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Whistleblower Protection provisions, including OSHA’s Whistleblower Program Web site(http://www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html). Compliance assistance related to the Act, including explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials, is available on the Compliance Assistance “By Law”(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-whistleblower.htm) Web page.

DOL Contacts

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (http://www.osha.gov)
Contact OSHA(http://www.osha.gov/html/Feed_Back.html)
Tel.: 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


For questions on other DOL laws, please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.