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December 17, 2007
Senate Votes to Expand FMLA

The U.S. Senate has voted 90-3 to approve legislation that includes a provision that would allow employees to use leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act in certain circumstances when their spouse, child, or parent is called for active duty in the military.

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If signed by Bush, the legislation (H.R.1585) would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to allow 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."

The legislation contains another provision that would entitle an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered servicemember to a total of 26 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for the servicemember. The leave would only be available during a single 12-month period.

The legislation would also allow employers to require certification. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the legislation earlier this month.

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