New FMLA Regulations Effective January 16, 2009

December 20, 2008

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.


4 Responses to “New FMLA Regulations Effective January 16, 2009”

  1. Mark Says:

    This is good an important info. If you continue in this direction you should develop a blog following.


  2. jcrglobalcaplaw Says:

    In other words, the revisions will affect companies in the employment relationships with people beyond members of military families. Putting aside the military families, what can we expect for, say, a venture-backed start-up with 20 employees and 15 independent contractors?

  3. I should have added full disclosure in my last post because Ken Sprang–the author of the first post to which I replied–is a colleague. However, he covers more of the employment mattes than I do and so we thought it would be good to get some back-and-forth going on specific examples. You will also see his name on my blog ( Same theory.

  4. health plans may be expensive but it is really very necessary to get one for yourself :`”

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