The Department of Labor recently issued new FMLA regulations. The new regulations will take effect March 8, 2013. The regulations will have limited impact on most employers. However, the new regulations will require employers to obtain and post a new poster with the revised language contained in the regulations.
The other, more substantive impact is limited. The new regulations relate primarily to employees who are active military or retired. For a qualifying exigency leave, the definition of "active duty" is now "covered active duty" and will somewhat narrow coverage for eligible employees – the coverage will now extend only to those whose related service members are being deployed to a foreign country. On the other hand, military caregiver leave has been expanded. That leave – which provides for as much as 26 weeks of leave in 12 months – now includes eligible employees who are caring for covered veterans as well as covered service members. Covered veterans are those with a "serious injury or illness" who were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable within five years of an eligible employee's initial request for leave (subject to certain exclusions extending the time for requesting leave). These and other new provisions are included on the revised FMLA Employee Rights and Responsibilities Poster (WH 1420). Employers should obtain new posters now for posting by March 8.
If you have questions about the new regulations and how they will affect your leave policies or would like assistance obtaining the revised poster, contact any of our Labor and Employment attorneys.