Recent changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act expand the circumstances under which an employee may be entitled to FMLA leave. Employers must be aware of these changes, communicate the changes to employees, and update employee handbooks to reflect the current law.
The revisions allow leave to be taken under two additional circumstances. First, an employee is now allowed to take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of unpaid leave in each twelve-month time period to care for a family member who suffered a serious injury or illness while serving as a member of the Armed Forces. Second, an employee with a family member on active duty in the Armed Forces is allowed to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave in each twelve-month time period to arrange for certain qualifying exigencies related to the family member’s military service. Such qualifying exigencies include: short notice deployment; military events; childcare issues; financial and legal arrangements; counseling; rest and recuperation; post-deployment activities; and additional activities upon which the employer and employee agree.
Like employees who take FMLA leave for other reasons, employees who take leave pursuant to these new provisions will be entitled to continued health care benefits and will be able to return to an equivalent position when the leave ends.
To discuss the amendments to the FMLA with an employment lawyer or for assistance in revising an employee handbook, please contact the employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at email@example.com.