New Family Medical Leave (FMLA) Provisions for Military Families
On January 28 2008, President Bush signed into law new provisions of the FMLA as part of a larger defense authorization act.
The new provisions of the FMLA require up 26 weeks of protected leave for employees
- providing care to service members wounded in the line of duty while on active duty
- care for veterans undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, are in outpatient status, or are on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness
- who are the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the wounded service member. The new provision also adds the "next of kin" to the list of persons who may take this leave.
The new amendments also provides up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave to immediate family members (spouse, child or parent) of any member of the Armed Services, including reservist or member of the National Guard, who is called to active duty in the military.
The statutory language grants leave for any "qualifying exigency" caused by the active duty call up.
An employer is entitled to request that the service member provide certification that he or she has been called to active duty.
Under both types of FMLA leave for military families, intermittent leave is available.