By Sara J. Ackermann
February 27, 2013
By March 8, 2013, employers covered under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (those with 50 or more employees) must display the Department of Labor’s new version of the Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act poster.
Where can I get the new poster? A copy is available via download from the DOL’ s website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmla.htm. This most recent version of the one-page poster includes new changes to FMLA rights, including important changes relating to military and military caregiver leave.
What are the military leave changes I need to know?
Military caregiver leave is now extended to eligible employees whose family members are recent veterans with serious injuries or illnesses, including conditions that do not arise until after the veteran has left the military. The veteran must have been discharged within the five-year period before the eligible employee first takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for the veteran.
The definition of a serious injury or illness for both current servicemembers and veterans now includes serious injuries or illnesses that result from a condition that existed before the servicemember’s active duty service and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty.
Qualifying exigency leave now must be offered to eligible employees with family members serving in the Regular Armed Forces, in addition to the National Guard and Reserves. Now there is also a requirement that for all qualifying exigency leave the servicemember (National Guard, Reserves, Regular Armed Forces) must be deployed to a foreign country.
For a detailed outline of all the changes regarding military leave, see the Side-By-Side Comparison chart available for download at the DOL’s website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/comparison.htm.
Were new forms issued? The DOL issued new forms that employers can use to certify employees’ use of military-related leave and also made revisions to the Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities form. These forms are available on the DOL’s website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/militaryForms.htm. The specific form numbers are as follows:
WH-381 – Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities
WH-384 – Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave
WH-385 – Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Current Servicemember — for Military Family Leave
WH-385-V – Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave
Do I need to change my FMLA policy? Yes. Your FMLA policy will need to be amended to provide for the new military leave changes.
If you have questions regarding the above, please contact Sara Ackermann, the author of this article, or any of the attorneys in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Practice Group of Ruder Ware.
This document provides information of a general nature regarding legislative or other legal developments, and is based on the state of the law at the time of the original publication of this article. None of the information contained herein is intended as legal advice or opinion relative to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues, and additional facts and information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed. You should not act upon the information in this document without discussing your specific situation with legal counsel.
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