Monday, November 23, 2009
As some readers may be aware, in late October, President Obama signed into law several amendments to the FMLA that expand the FMLA rights of military families. The new law significantly broadens an employee's right for "exigency leave" due to military service and to care for a servicemember.Here is a link to a podcast by Jeff Nowak and his firm which describes the new changes to military family leave and highlights possible FMLA amendments to keep an eye on over the next several months.
What I find particularly interesting about these FMLA amendments is their impact on the already existing military leave provisions in USERRA. My understanding is that whereas FMLA focus on the needs of a military's persons family (qualifying exigency leave and military caregiver leave), USERRA focuses on the leave needs of the military individual.
The new amendments in October 2009 expand FMLA entitlement now applies to regular armed forced (not just reserve and guard members) and expands the leave entitlements to any military service (not just Afghanistan and Iraq). Military caregiver leave has been expanded to apply to those who are no longer currently in the military (so now applies to permanent disabilities of veterans within five years of military service and also to injuries that have been aggravated by current military service).