Labor Department Issues Final Revised FMLA Rules

On November 17, 2008, the Department of Labor issued final revised regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Set to take effect January 16, 2009, these 750 pages of revised regulations represent the first update of the FMLA in more than 13 years.

Notably, these regulations expand the FMLA in two significant ways for military families. First, they provide up to 26 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for family members caring for covered service members with serious injuries or illness incurred in the line of active duty. Second, they allow families of National Guard and Reserve personnel on active duty to take FMLA leave for “qualifying exigencies,” defined as: (1) short-notice deployment; (2) military events and related activities; (3) childcare and school activities; (4) financial and legal arrangements; (5) counseling; (6) rest and recuperation; (7) post-deployment activities and (8) additional activities where the employer and employee agree to the leave.

The revised regulations also address the following issues:

  • The Ragsdale Decision/Penalties
  • Waiver of Rights
  • Serious Health Condition
  • Light Duty
  • Perfect Attendance Awards
  • Employer Notice Obligations
  • Employee Notice
  • Medical Certification Process (Content and Clarification)

For more information regarding the implications of these revised regulations and how to remain in compliance with the FMLA, see Littler ASAPs Relief in Sight? DOL Issues Final FMLA Regulations, and Department of Labor Clarifies FMLA Amendments Related to Servicemember Care and Other Military-Related Exigencies.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.