DOL proposes FMLA rule changes, cont.

We are continuing our discussion of proposed rules from the U.S. Department of Labor. The proposals would amend the federal Family and Medical Leave Act in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 and other laws. It is important to remember that these proposed rules will not affect the Wisconsin FMLA.

In our last post, we discussed a change to the way employers track FMLA leave and the DOL’s clarification of mid-shift reinstatement. The last category of proposals addresses the role of the FMLA in the military.

The National Defense Authorization Act extended FMLA leave to family members of active-duty armed forces personnel. The act also extended FMLA military caregiver leave to family members of veterans with serious injuries or illnesses. Prior to this amendment, only caregivers of National Guard and Reserve servicemembers were covered under the FMLA.

Active-duty personnel. Under the rule, FMLA military family leave would only apply to service members who have been deployed to a foreign country. The same would be true for members of the Reserves.

Currently, a caregiver may take up to five days of military family leave to be with a member of the military who is on rest and recuperation leave during a deployment. These leaves must be part of an official military Rest and Recuperation leave program. The proposed rule would change the limit from five to 15 days. The number of days is not discretionary, though; it must equal the number of days of R&R granted the servicemember.

We will discuss the proposed rule for veterans in our next post.

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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