On January 22, the U.S. Senate approved legislation including a provision that would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow eligible employees to use leave in certain circumstances when their spouse, child, or parent is called for active duty in the military.
The provisions are included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R.4986). The Senate approved the legislation by a 91-3 vote. The White House has indicated that President Bush will sign the legislation. Congress had approved a similar bill in late 2007, but President Bush vetoed the legislation for reasons unrelated to the proposed FMLA expansion.
One FMLA-related provision in the legislation would allow employees to take leave "because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation."
Another provision would amend FMLA to give more leave to employees whose family members are injured while serving in the military.
The provision reads: "An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered servicemember shall be entitled to a total of 26 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for the servicemember. The leave described in this paragraph shall only be available during a single 12-month period."
For further details on these provisions, see our previous coverage.