According to attorney Joan Gale and several other noted experts, the expansion of ADA under ADAAA will enable many more employees to take FMLA for adult children, even when those children are not members of the military or veterans.
An employee can take unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act when an immediate family member has a serious health condition. Originally, the FMLA was crafted so that immediate family members included parents, a spouse, and a son or daughter under the age of 18.
A new U.S. Department of Labor regulation underscores the fact that gay parents and others in nontraditional families have the right to take up to 12 weeks of FMLA to care for a child with a serious health problem, or to bond with a child (under 18) who is new to the home.
This regulation is no surprise. Even before the 2009 Final Rule, any employee who was acting in loco parentis – in place of a parent – was entitled to take FMLA leave when the child had a serious health problem. An employer could require “proof” of the employee’s relationship to the child, but adoption papers or a court order were not required. In fact, even a hand-written statement from the employee that he or she was responsible for the child and was acting in the place of a parent, was sufficient under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
The clarification issued by assistant administrator Nancy Leppink of the Wage and Hour Division simply underscores that regulation. Leppink points out that the new regulation would permit a stepparent to take time off to bond with a new child or to care for a child with a serious health condition. The new regulation specifically extends FMLA coverage to both partners in a gay relationship who coparent a child, whether the partners (more…)
The FMLA leave that was granted to members of the Reserve and National Guard under the 2009 regulations is now extended to families of armed services members who are on active duty in a foreign country.
The new regulations are expected to be (more…)
The House Education and Labor Committee continues to consider provisions of HR 3991, the House Emergency Influenza Containment Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. George Miller of California, would require that employers provide 5 paid sick days to employees.
A new law signed by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009 expands FMLA for military families even more than the NDAA or National Defense Authorization Act of 2008.
This change in the law will require every employer to update the Military Caregiver poster, even if they do not have any employees who qualify.
The National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 provides for two major changes to current FMLA regulations:
Families of Armed Forces members on active duty are covered, not just family members of the National Guard and Reserve
It appears that these changes are retroactive, according to Matthew Effland, an Indianapolis attorney specializing in FMLA issues.
Active Duty Included
Under the new law, when a member of the Armed Forces is deployed to a foreign country, his or her spouse, son, daughter, parent, step-child, or step-parent can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected FMLA leave for any “qualifying exigency.”
Many employers have already been granting this leave to military families, and not just the families of Reserve or National Guard members who are called to active duty. In fact, it is unclear why the U.S. Department of Labor interpreted the original law so narrowly in the final days of the second Bush administration.
Under the current regulations, qualifying exigencies include attending military-sponsored functions, making appropriate financial and legal arrangements, handling details of a short-notice deployment, attending counseling, and making alternate childcare arrangements. In addition, an employee can take up to 5 days of FMLA for rest and recreation or R&R under the law. The employee can also use FMLA up to 90 days following deployment for arrival ceremonies, post-deployment ceremonies and other military events.
Military Caregiver Leave Expanded to Veterans
The NDAA also permits an employee who is the son, daughter, spouse, or parent to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected FMLA during a 12-month period to provide care for a service member who has been injured or contracted a disease in the line of duty.
This extended FMLA leave also applies to the injured soldier’s next-of-kin, regardless of the relationship. This means in some cases that an in-law, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin could qualify for military caregiver leave.
The new law permits the (more…)