Monday, February 4, 2008

Employer Alert: President approves FMLA changes

The following is an Employer Alert from Joseph P. Hofmann, a labor and employment attorney with the law firm of Stevens & Lee:

You may have heard about pending changes to FMLA adding special leave rights for military family members. There was some delay while Congress and the President negotiated their positions on the Defense Authorization Act, which was the law which includes the FMLA changes.

The President signed the Defense Authorization Act on Monday, January 28th and according to the Department of Labor (DOL), the amendments became effective immediately. These amendments provide the following new leave rights:
  1. 12 weeks of "exigent" leave is available to employees whose spouse, son, daughter, or son is on or called for active duty. "Exigent" leave counts against the annual twelve week leave entitlement.
  2. 26 weeks of leave available to care for injured service member who is the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or "next of kin" (nearest blood relative). Leave to care for an injured service member does not count against the 12-week annual leave entitlement.
DOL plans to "fast-track" regulations interpreting the new FMLA provisions, which will (hopefully) explain what is meant by "exigent."

For more information on this change, you can visit the website of Stevens & Lee, or e-mail Mr. Hofmann directly.

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