FMLA Amended to Provide Military-Related Leave

The FMLA has been amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), to provide additional reasons an eligible employee may take unpaid leave pursuant to the FMLA.  Information about these changes is provided by the Department of Labor.

Specifically, the law now provides for unpaid leave of up to 26 weeks for a “spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin” to care for a “member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.”  This part of the NDAA went into effect on January 28, 2008.

Also, the law provides that employees may take FMLA leave for “any qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that 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.” This part of the NDAA is not effective until the Department of Labor issues final regulations defining “any qualifying exigency.”

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