New Law Is Expanding Family Leave
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a revised version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which was intended to address concerns over litigation surrounding the war. But one section also extended Family and Medical Leave Act protection to close relatives of uniformed service members. Up to 26 weeks of leave are now available to employees caring for a recovering service member who sustains an injury or illness while on active duty. The new law also adds active-duty leave to the list of reasons that qualify for FMLA leave.
As with most changes in the law, clarification regarding the provisions will be forthcoming. In the meantime, any leave request associated with the close relative of a uniformed service member should be given proper consideration. You should be sure your company coordinates the new forms of leave with other types of FMLA leave and ensure that front-line supervisors avoid rejecting such requests without thinking them through.
This article appeared in the March 28, 2008 issue of the Charlotte Business Journal.