Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, December 28, 2007

FMLA Expansion - Maybe Not So Quick

Dan Schwartz's Connecticut Employment Law Blog has been one of 2007's leading entries into the employment law blog arena. An example why is that even while vacationing he was keen enough to pass along a caution that the FMLA expansion that has been mentioned in several blogs recently (including this one), seems to have hit a Presidential snag. President to Veto Bill with Expanded FMLA Benefits to Military Families.

What's more impressive is that Dan is apparently the first to make the connection between the well publicized veto and the hit to the FMLA expansion, as my google news search a moment ago for "fmla and veto" came up with no hits. A huge tip of the hat for a scoop not only in the (relatively) small world of employment law blogging, but of the big time media as well.

It seems that the offending clause in a 1000+ page bill is ยง 1083 which provides in part:
Chapter 97 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1605 the following:
`Sec. 1605A. Terrorism exception to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state

`(a) In General-

`(1) NO IMMUNITY- A foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of courts of the United States or of the States in any case not otherwise covered by this chapter in which money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death that was caused by an act of torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking, or the provision of material support or resources for such an act if such act or provision of material support or resources is engaged in by an official, employee, or agent of such foreign state while acting within the scope of his or her office, employment, or agency.
That particular provision was of great concern to the Iraq government and the concerns have convinced the White House of the need to take action.
Since the pocket veto (last heard about in your high school senior civics class) is causing some political waves for President Bush, see In Surprise Step, Bush Vows Veto of Military Bill, and the bill was passed overwhelmingly by both the Senate and the House, it seems quite likely that after the first of the year everything will be worked out and the expansion will go through.

But as Dan says, "it's fair to say that this situation is fluid."


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