February 8, 2012

DOL Proposes FMLA Amendments

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing to make certain amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  As background, the FMLA, applicable to private and public sector employers with 50 or more employees, provides for up to 12 weeks of leave per year to eligible employees for certain life events, such as birth or adoption of a child, or to care for the employee’s or family member’s serious health condition.  

The FMLA was expanded in 2008 to provide additional periods of leave for military families.  Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for exigencies arising out of a family member’s active service.  In addition, up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period may be taken to care for a service member injured in the line of military duty, or undergoing outpatient medical treatment or therapy, or who is deemed to be temporarily disabled due to a serious injury or illness. 

The proposed FMLA amendments would:

  1. Extend the availability of FMLA leave to family members of the Regular Armed Forces for qualifying exigencies arising out of a service member’s deployment;
  2. Extend FMLA military caregiver leave to family members of certain veterans with serious injuries or illnesses;
  3. Provide new FMLA leave eligibility requirements to certain airline flight crewmembers and flight attendants; and
  4. Modify methods for calculating FMLA leave. 

If and when the DOL issues final regulations relating to these proposals, we will provide more detailed information at that time.


The information contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations.

As required by U.S. Treasury rules, we inform you that, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

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