DOL proposes FMLA rule changes, concl.

We are wrapping up our series of posts about some recently proposed rule changes issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. To get an idea of how long it takes to turn an act of Congress into regulations, some of these proposed rules are changes to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that were part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010. As we said before, it is important to remember that these proposals apply only to the federal law, not the Wisconsin FMLA.

We have discussed the proposed rules that address administrative procedures and mid-shift reinstatement, as well as proposed changes to military family leave for active-duty members of the Armed Forces. In this post, we are moving on to the rules that would affect military family leave for veterans.

Veterans. The law limits eligibility to families of veterans who have been discharged in the past five years. The injury need not have been sustained in the line of duty; veterans whose pre-existing injuries (or illnesses) were aggravated during active duty are also covered by the law.

What makes this provision tricky is that the DOL has yet to define what injuries and illnesses are covered by the law. The agency will issue another proposed rule in the future that will clarify the term. Until then, employers may choose to grant leave requests for caregivers of veterans but that leave will not be covered by the FMLA.

Together, these posts offer a broad overview of the proposed changes. These rules will not become final until the comment period concludes and the agency has had a chance to consider the feedback.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: The Family and Medical Leave Act,” Federal Register, Vo.. 77, No. 31, Feb. 15, 2012

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