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New FMLA Regulations Effective March 8, 2013

Published by on March 8, 2013

Employers covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) will be required to comply with new regulations recently issued from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), effective March 8, 2013.  The majority of the new regulations concern FMLA’s military leave and the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act.  There are, however, a few regulations […]

Employers covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) will be required to comply with new regulations recently issued from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), effective March 8, 2013.  The majority of the new regulations concern FMLA’s military leave and the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act.  There are, however, a few regulations that are generally applicable.  More after the break.

Some of the new FMLA regulations include:

Qualifying Exigency Leave:

•    Qualifying exigency leave is available to eligible employees who are family members of either military personnel in the regular Armed Forces or military members deployed to a foreign country;

•   An additional qualifying exigency leave category for parental care leave to provide care necessitated by the covered active duty of the military service member for his or her parent who is incapable of self-care; and

•   The amount of time an eligible employee may take for qualifying exigency leave related to the military member’s rest and recuperation leave increases from five (5) days to fifteen (15) days.

Military Caregiver Leave:

•    A covered veteran is defined as a veteran discharged or released from the military, except in the case of a dishonorable discharge, within five years from the date the employee’s military caregiver leave is to begin; and

•   Eligible employees are permitted to obtain medical certifications of a service member’s (current or veteran) serious health condition from any health care provider as defined by the FMLA regulations.

Airline Flight Crew Employees:

•   The annual work hour threshold requirement for airline flight crew members is modified to qualify for FMLA leave.  Airline flight crew employees will meet the hours of service requirement if they have worked or been paid for not less than 60% of their applicable total monthly guaranteed hours and have worked or been paid for not less than 504 hours during the previous 12 months;

•   Airline flight crew members are entitled to 72 days of FMLA leave during a 12 month period for all qualifying reasons other than military caregiver leave, in which case they are entitled to 156 days of leave; and

•   Intermittent or reduced schedule leave taken by airline flight crew members cannot be accounted for in increments greater than one day.

Other Changes:

•   When employees take intermittent or reduced schedule leave, employers may use different increments of leave at different times of the day or shift provided the employer tracks FMLA leave using the smallest increment used for other forms of leave subject to a one hour maximum;

•   The FMLA optional sample forms have been updated where needed and are available on the DOL’s website here; and

•   The new FMLA poster, which must be posted by March 8, 2013, is available on the DOL’s website here.

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