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FMLA update: Military-related FMLA leave for “next of kin”, plus proposed new FMLA regulations

FMLA news: The FMLA law is updated in 2008 to expand coverage related to care for military members, and the Dept of Labor is proposing changes to FMLA regulations

FYI – See also my main FMLA article.

See my separate article on FMLA 26 week Servicemember family leave.

ISSUE 1 – Effective January 28, 2008, FMLA now provides 26 weeks of leave to care for a member of the military, and allows such military-treatment leave to be taken by anyone who is “next of kin”

The US Dept of Labor says the following about the 2008 amendment

”On January 28, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), Pub. L. 110-181. Among other things, section 585 of the NDAA amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to permit a “spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin” to take up to 26 workweeks of leave to care for a “member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.” See the DOL announcement here.

Links to FMLA update related materials

See my separate article on FMLA 26 week Servicemember family leave.

FYI – See also my main FMLA article.

 

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ISSUE 2 – Dept of Labor proposes FMLA regulation changes that mainly benefit employers

The proposed changes hurt medical privacy, and make it easier for employers to deny FMLA leave, and deny reinstatement after leave, among other important changes

You will see from the proposed regulations linked below that the Dept of Labor is responding to the concerns of employers (mostly) in its proposed regulation changes. Download the pdf file containing all the explanations (linked below). The DOL gives a pretty good explanation of the problems it is trying to solve with the new changes.

I did not see much that benefits employees in the proposed changes. I did see a lot of fluff in the text accompanying the regulations, fluff that makes it appear that the DOL is concerned about employees’ problems. But the proposals do not offer any significant changes that help employees, in my opinion.

I will write more about the new regulations if they become effective. The regulations are in the public comment discussion phase right now.

Links related to the DOL’s proposed new FMLA regulations for 2008


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