Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, December 14, 2007

FMLA Expanded with Passage of Department of Defense Funding Bill

More action on the legislative front as Congress today adopted the first expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act since its original passage. Although for a limited (and good) cause, the expansion is a big one.

It encompasses two kinds of leave --
  • 12 weeks where "the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation and there is a "qualifying exigency" which is to be defined by the Secretary of Labor by regulation; and

  • 26 weeks where an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of an injured servicemember needs to take care of them. This is apparently a one time leave.

In short, the expansion which is part of the Department of Defense funding bill is designed to provide possible leave for families of servicemen for both active duty call ups and cases of injury.

Although it is part of a much bigger bill, the relative portions expanding the FMLA can be found here. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.

It is unclear when it will be effective, although arguably it could be as soon as it is signed by the President which should be in the next few days, even though obviously there will be no regulations for some time.

Stay tuned for more details.


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