Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act and FMLA

The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law by President Obama on October 28, 2009. Among other things, the bill amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) by expanding its leave provisions relating to "qualifying
exigency leave" and "military caregiver leave." The FMLA-related amendments extend qualifying exigency leave" protections to families of active duty servicemembers deployed abroad so that the families can have time to manage certain personal affairs of the servicemember while he or she is on active duty. Such leave was not available to employees whose family member (spouse, child, or parent) was in the regular Armed Forces in the past but, rather, was available only to employees whose family member was in the Reserves or National Guard and who was ordered to active duty as part of a "contingency operation." As amended, FMLA now provides that leave is available to covered employees whose spouse, child or parent is in the Armed Forces on active duty and who is deployed overseas.