Family and Medical Leave for Military Family Members

The Defense Reauthorization Bill allows employees to take a leave covered under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for what they describe as "any qualifying exigency" that would arise out of a family member’s active duty or call to active duty.  The new provisions included in the existing list of qualifying reasons for which employees can take FMLA leave because of the DRB are as follows:

  • Covered employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave every year to deal with certain issues that relate to a family member’s active duty or call to active duty.
  • Employees who are covered in this federal law may take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single year to take care for a family member who is seriously ill or injured in active military duty.

Are there any additional provisions or rules when it comes to taking care of a family member who was injured or got ill during active duty in the military?  Let us find out.

New rules for taking care of military family member

If a family member in the military service has suffered injury or serious illness-whether a spouse, child, parent, or even next of kin-an employee can take up to 26 weeks of leave in a year instead of the usual 12 weeks applied in the FMLA.

However, the employee can take this leave only once within a 12-month period.  Despite this language, the Department of Labor is considering whether employees should be entitled to a one-time leave benefit or 26 weeks or the limit should be applied in other ways.

As with most other types of FMLA leave, employees may take a leave to take care of an injured military family member on a reduced or intermittent schedule if medically necessary.

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