The Family and Medical Leave Act, adopted in 1993, provides eligible employees who work for covered employers the right to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for  the birth of the employee’s child, the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; or the care of a son, daughter, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.  The Act also allows the employee to take such leave for the employee’s own >health condition.  Some jurisdictions allow more than 12 weeks, e.g., Washington, DC mandates 16 weeks.

Although FMLA leave is a good concept and is now well known by HR Personnel everywhere, there are some elements of the Act that have long cried for clarity, e.g, a clearer defintion of serious health condition.

In January 2008, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which, among other things, provided for FMLA leave specifically for military families.

In 2006, the Department of Labor  solicited public comments on experience with the FMLA.  In February 2008 the Department solicited comments on proposed changes to the regulations.  On November 17, 2008, new regulations were issued, to be effective January 16, 2009.  The new regulations address a number of concerns raised by those who daily apply the statute.  In addition, the regulations integrate the new provisions for military families.

The current global economic crisis leaves little doubt that the financial lives of people around the globe are inextricably intertwined.  With the continual growth and development of technology, instant communication, and virtual offices, events in one economy are soon felt in others.

Notwithstanding this modern economic reality, many American business persons know very little about the laws and business practices of their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic.  Seeking to serve these needs, Global Capital Law Group is expanding to provide labor and employment services to its clients around the globe.

I have just returned from Paris, where we have formed an association with attorneys in Paris and Strasbourg, as well as associations with M&A constultants, EC lobbyists, and others. </p

In the United States, this is a time of major developments in labor and employment law.  In the days to come, on these pages we will post developments in the U.S. and around the world, to help our readers and clients to be informed of current issues in the workplace. </p