In late January 2008, the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was signed into law. It created two major amendments to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) :
1. The NDAA amends the FMLA to allow employees up to 26 weeks of leave to care for family members injured while on active duty in the armed forces. Significantly, the new leave law expands beyond the regular FMLA coverage of parent, child or spouse, to include the "nearest blood relative" of the individual;
2. The NDAA amends the FMLA to allow an employee up to 12 weeks of leave, without reference to a medical condition or injury, when an immediate family member is on duty or called to duty. Unlike existing FMLA rules, this category may apply to situations unrelated to the care of family members, and the Department of Labor is creating regulations to define a “qualifying exigency.” This may include situations when children must be cared for, and the remaining spouse must take off work to do so.
Employers should amend their leave rules to cover these two new FMLA categories.
For further information regarding these or any other employment laws, contact any member of our Employment Law Group