Earlier this month, the United States Department of Labor issued final regulations implementing amendments to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA.) These amendments expanded two types of military related leave: “Qualifying Exigency Leave,” and “Military Caregiver Leave.” Updated posters need to be hung by March 8th, 2013. Here are some highlights:
“Qualifying Exigency Leave”
The definition of a “qualifying exigency” now includes service in the regular armed forces, as well as service in the National Guard or Reserves as long as the service involved deployment to a foreign country.
The regulations also expand, from five to 15 days, the amount of time an employee may take to spend with a covered military member who is on rest-and-recuperation leave.
“Military Caregiver Leave”
Employees are now permitted to take FMLA leave to care for a veteran discharged from service (other than dishonorably) during the five-year period prior to the leave. The period between October 28, 2009 and March 8, 2013 must not be counted toward the five-year limit, which means that, currently, leave may be taken to care for veterans discharged since approximately October 2003.
Leave may be taken to care for a covered service member/veteran whose serious health condition arose either before or after military service, if (1) military service aggravated the injury or illness, (2) the service member/veteran has received a 50% or greater VA Service Related Disability Rating, (3) the physical or mental condition impairs the service member/veteran’s ability to secure or maintain employment, or (4) the service member/veteran has been enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
Any FMLA-qualified health care provider can fill out the certification form for service member caregiver leave.
In lieu of providing the FMLA certification form, an employee may now provide documentation establishing his/her enrollment in the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
Alternative HR retainer clients will be receiving their posters this week. If you are not a retainer client and need information on obtaining a poster, please give us a call at 717-855-5589. Please note that employers who do not have enough employees for FMLA to be applicable still need to hang the poster.