2013 FMLA changes
The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently issued some changes to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), all of which were effective March 8. The FMLA affects private employers with 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding year.
Most changes in the FMLA involve military family leave. The added protections for active and returning military members overseas were a political priority for the Administration and include:
(1) The definition of a “serious injury or illness” for military caregiver leave has been formalized by regulation that became effective March 8;
(2) An eligible family member who has a qualifying exigency reason for taking “Rest and Recuperation” leave can now take up to 15 days; the former limit was 5;
(3) Covered service members now have more choices of physicians to certify a serious injury or illness; under the former rules the doctor had to be from the military healthcare system.
The older rules for qualifying exigency FMLA leave limited the definition of “uniformed services” to designated members of the reserves and National Guard. Under the new rules, members of the Regular Armed Forces—enlisted or "regular" military—are now included, as long as a service member in any branch either serves or is called to serve in a foreign country or international waters. And, the list of qualifying exigencies for which an employee can request leave has been broadened, or in some cases, clarified.
For a comparison of the changes, go to: www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/comparison.htm.
These changes require new FMLA forms and a new FMLA poster. The link for the new forms is: www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/militaryForms.htm. FMLA is typically incorporated onto an organization’s all-in-one Federal Poster which would require a new all-in-one poster. Or to download this new poster individually, the link is: www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmla.htm.
For further information, contact Beverly Purtell, senior vice president, the Credit Union Center at 800-842-1242.