EXPANDED LEAVE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES UNDER FMLA

President Obama has signed into law the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act , which provides for additional leave rights for military families under FMLA. 

First, there is a provision relating to qualifying exigency for up to twelve weeks of leave for family members of both active duty service members and national guard and reservists who are deployed to a foreign country.  Previously, the leave was only for National Guard and reservists.  Exigency leave is permitted for short-notice of deployment, military events and related activities, childcare and school, financial and legal responsibilities, counseling, rest and recuperation for five days, post-deployment activities and other activities as agreed with employer.

Second, caregiver leave has been extended to include veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness.  The veteran must have been in the armed forces, including the National Guard or reserves, at any time five years prior to the treatment and the condition being treated must be incurred in the line of duty or a pre-existing condition aggravated in the line of duty.  

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