On January 16, 2009, several changes to the FMLA regulations will go into effect.

The biggest change from a worker point of view concerns how and when employee give notice of taking FMLA leave. Before, employees had up to two days after an absence to notify employers they actually were taking FMLA leave. Now–absent an emergency or unusual circumstances–an employee needing FMLA leave must follow the employer’s usual and customary call-in procedures for reporting an absence. This applies to intermittent FMLA leaves as well as leaves for a block of time.

What this means is that the FMLA will not protect a worker from discipline for an absence unless the worker notifies the employer of the FMLA absence by following the usual call-in procedure for announcing a non-FMLA absence.

There’s more.  Employers can no longer count "light duty" assignments as FMLA leave.  And employees who take intermittent leave may be required to complete "fitness for duty" evaluations before returning to work.  Click here for the Department of Labor’s summary of all the new FMLA regulations. http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/finalrule.htm