Update 01/07/13—In late 2012, the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions was issued. According to the revised agenda, DOL plans to issue final FMLA regulation covering leave for qualifying exigencies, servicemember caregiver leave and airline/flight crews in March, 2013. Please note that the dates included in the revised agenda are tentative and may be subject to change.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has extended the comment period for its proposed rule to implement new statutory amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that would expand military family leave provisions and incorporate a special eligibility provision for airline flight crew employees.
In February, the department published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register with a public comment period scheduled to end on April 16. The department has received requests from various organizations to extend the comment period. Because of the interest, along with other factors, the comment period has been extended through April 30.
To view the proposed rule and submit comments, visit the federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov and search by regulation identification number 1235-AA03.
The proposed language would extend the entitlement of military caregiver leave to family members of veterans for up to five years after leaving the military. At this time, the law only covers family members of “currently serving” service members. Additionally, the proposal expands the military family leave provisions of the FMLA by extending qualifying exigency leave to employees whose family members serve in the regular armed forces. Currently, the law only covers families of National Guard members and reservists.
For airline flight crew employees, the proposed revision makes the benefits of the FMLA more accessible. It would add a special hours of service eligibility requirement for them and specific provisions for calculating the amount of FMLA leave used that better take into account the unique — and often difficult to track — hours worked by crew members.