Employment Alert: Department of Labor Amends FMLA and Releases Proposed New FMLA Regulations

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2/22/2008

On February 11, the U.S. Department of Labor published a proposal to update its regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The proposed regulations are aimed at providing clarity for both workers and employers about the practical application of the 15 year-old law. The DOL developed the proposed regulations in response to court decisions invalidating portions of the existing regulations, discussions with various stakeholders, and over 15,000 comments received in response to a DOL-issued Request for Information.

The regulations are also designed to facilitate the implementation of legislation recently passed by Congress (the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008), which amended the FMLA by providing two new leave entitlements for military service people and their families. Under the legislation, family members of injured military service men and women will be able to take up to 26 workweeks of leave to care for those wounded, and will be able to use FMLA leave because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a covered family member is on active duty or

called to active duty status. DOL is seeking public comment on a wide variety of issues related to these new “caregiver” and “active duty” military leave provisions before it issues the final rule on this new law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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