Recent FMLA Amendments Regarding Military Leave

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On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed into law a Defense Department Fiscal Year 2010 authorization bill that includes an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act provisions related to “qualifying exigency leave” and to military caregiver leave. Prior to the October 28, 2009, amendments, the regulation emphasized that qualifying exigency leave was available only to families of members of the National Guard or Reserve or a retired member of the regular armed forces or the reserve who was called to active duty in support of a contingency operation. The entitlement did not apply to employees who had family members in the regular Armed Forces. Under the bill signed into law by President Obama on October 28, this entitlement is now extended to an employee whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is a member of the regular Armed Forces -- not just the National Guard or Reserves -- and is deployed to a foreign country, rather than only when deployed in support of a contingency operation.

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