Employment-DOL Proposes To Amend FMLA Regulations To Expand Rules On Military Family Leave

According to a News Release (dated 1/30/12), the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) has proposed amendments to the regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”) which will expand military family leave provisions and incorporate a special eligibility provision for airline flight crew employees. The News Release says the following.

The FMLA, enacted in 1993, entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The proposed rules would extend the entitlement of military caregiver leave to family members of veterans for up to five years after leaving the military. At this time, the law only covers family members of “currently serving” service members. Additionally, the proposed rules would expand the military family leave provisions of the FMLA by extending qualifying exigency leave to employees whose family members serve in the regular armed forces. Currently, the law only covers families of National Guard members and reservists.

For airline flight crew employees, the proposed rules make the benefits of the FMLA more accessible. It would add a special hours of service eligibility requirement for them and specific provisions for calculating the amount of FMLA leave used that better take into account the unique — and often difficult to track — hours worked by crew members.

Additional information on the FMLA, including information and fact sheets on the proposed rules, is here.