FMLA changes effective March 8th: New regulations, new poster

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The DOL published final FMLA regulations which will be effective March 8th.  The main purpose is to incorporate into the regulations existing requirements created by the National Defense Authorization Act (2010) and the Airline Flight Crew Technical Correction Act (2009).

The amendments change the military leave provisions of the FMLA regulations by including the availability of a qualifying exigency leave to family members of individuals in the regular Armed Forces deployed to a foreign country, expanding the reasons for such leaves and making other clarifications. Additionally in respect to a leave to care for an ill/injured servicemember, the regulations broaden the definition of servicemember to one whose preexisting injury was aggravated in the line of duty as well as to certain veterans whose injury manifested during or after active duty.

Revisions pertaining to airline flight crew attendants create alternate “hours of service” eligibility requirement to reflect the unconventional work schedules of such employees.

The FMLA poster and all forms were removed from the regulations themselves; however, they are still available on the USDOL and EANJ websites, and include a revised Poster, Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities, Certification of Qualifying Exigency, Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Current Servicemember, and a new Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran.

In addition to the requirement to replace the old poster, these new regulations create the need to review your leave policies and other notices you provide to your employees regarding their rights and responsibilities under the FMLA, especially with regard to leaves for military family members and, if applicable, airline crews.