The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) now entitles eligible employees to take leave for a covered family member’s service in the armed forces. This policy supplements current FMLA policy and provides notice of employee rights to such leave.
Service member FMLA provides eligible employees leave for either or both of the following reasons:
1. To care for a covered family member (i.e., spouse, parent, child, or next of kin) who has incurred an injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the armed forces, provided that such injury or illness may render the family member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.
2. Because of a qualifying exigency arising out of a covered family member’s (i.e., spouse, parent, or child) active duty or call to active duty in the armed forces in support of a contingency operation.
When Leave Is to Care for an Injured or Ill Service Member: Effective immediately, an eligible employee may take up to 26 work weeks of leave during a single leave year to care for the service member. Leave to care for an injured or ill service member, either by itself or when combined with other FMLA-qualifying leave, may not exceed 26 weeks in a single leave year. When Leave Is Due to a Qualifying Exigency: An eligible employee may take up to 12 work weeks of leave during a leave year, in accordance with Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. The right to such leave will take effect when the DOL regulations are issued. Employees will be notified when that occurs. Leave due to a qualifying exigency, either by itself or when combined with other FMLA-qualifying leave, may not exceed 12 weeks in a single leave year.
For an absence to care for a family member in active duty status who has incurred a serious health condition, medical certification is required to establish that the serious injury or illness was incurred in the line of duty on active duty in the armed forces and may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.
For an absence for a qualifying exigency, certification will be required in accordance with pending DOL regulations.
If you have any questions regarding service member FMLA leave, please contact your district’s FMLA coordinator.