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Family and Medical Leave Act

Posted by attorney David Murray

Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons: o for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee; o for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care; o to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or o to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition. Key News o The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division published a Final Rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The final rule became effective on January 16, 2009, and updates the FMLA regulations to implement new military family leave entitlements enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008. It also includes revisions in response to public comments received on the proposed rule issued in February 2008. The Federal Register Notice and related documents are available at Wage and Hour's FMLA Final Rule website. (November 17, 2008). o The President signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), Pub. L. 110-181. Among other things, section 585 of the NDAA amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to permit a "spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin" to take up to 26 workweeks of leave 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." The NDAA also permits an employee to take FMLA leave for "any qualifying exigency (as the Secretary [of Labor] shall, by regulation, determine) 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." By its express terms, this provision of the NDAA is not effective under the Secretary of Labor issues final regulations defining "any qualifying exigency." Additional information and a copy of Title I of the FMLA, as amended, are available on the FMLA NDAA Web site. (January 28, 2008)

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