On October 28, 2009, President Obama expanded the military leave provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Employers will, once again, need to modify their FMLA policies to ensure full compliance with the law.
To understand these changes, it is useful to review the law as it stood previously. Nearly two years ago, in January 2008, the FMLA was amended to include two types of military leave: (1) qualifying exigency and (2) military caregiver:
Under the amendments that just went into effect, both types of leave have been expanded. QE leave is no longer restricted to members of the National Guard or Reserves and now includes any member of the Armed Forces. In addition, it is no longer restricted to contingency operations and now includes any call to active duty in a foreign country. MC leave now includes both military service members on active duty as well as veterans.
What This Means
Employers need to update their FMLA policies, revise their employee handbooks accordingly, and ensure that human resources personnel and managers responsible for administering the FMLA are aware of the changes. In addition, while there is no express requirement to do so, employers should notify their employees of the changes to the law. As they become available, employers should also obtain and display new FMLA posters.
If you would like more information about these changes or need help revising your policies, please contact Joseph L. Edwards, Jr., the author of this Alert, at 617 456 8131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.