Bush Signs FMLA Military Expansion Bill

By Staff Report

Jan. 30, 2008

President Bush on Monday, January 28, signed into law legislation that expands Family and Medical Leave Act coverage for family members of employees called for military service.

The expansion, included in a broader Department of Defense spending measure, requires employers to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees when a spouse, child or parent is on active duty or is called up for active duty. Leave could be for any “exigency” as defined by regulations to be drafted by the Labor Department.

Additionally, the new law allows employees who are the spouses, children, parents or next of kin of a service member to take up to 26 weeks of leave under the FMLA to care for the service member who has incurred an injury during military service when that injury results in the service member being unable to perform his or her duties.

The expansion is the first for the 1993 law, which requires employers to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave after the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a sick child, parent or spouse, or when an employee has a serious illness.

Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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