FMLA expanded to provide leave to the families of U.S. military service personnel

In January, 2008, President Bush signed legislation that expands the leave available to family members of U.S. military service personnel under the FMLA.  The amendments, which went into effect on January 28, 2008, are the first amendments to the FMLA since its enactment in 1993. 

Under the amendments, covered employers (i.e. those with 50 or more employees) are required to provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to eligible employees who are caring for a "covered servicemember" who is injured in the line of duty.  In addition, the amendments require covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave to the immediate family members (spouses, children, or parents) of military personnel or reservists who have "any qualifying exigency" arising out of the servicemember's active duty or call to active duty in support of a contingency operation.  The Secretary of Labor will be issuing regulations defining "any qualifying exigency." 

For more information concerning the amendments to the FMLA, and who is eligible for this type of FMLA leave, please click here.