Last year the Department of Labor started developing a rule governing how the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) should be interpreted and implemented. Finally today, the Department announced their final regulation which strengthens this important law that has benefitted millions of employees. These new rules not only clear up much of the confusion that surrounded the law but defines how the families of military personnel can use the FMLA for the first time.
Final regulation available here.
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NAM WELCOMES NEW FMLA REGULATIONS
Engler Says Changes Improve Law, Brings Better Guidance for Employers and Employees
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14 – The National Association of Manufacturers said the new Family Medical Leave Act regulation issued by the Labor Department today will strengthen the 15-year-old law. The new regulations will provide additional leave for military families, provide greater clarity and understanding of the law, and ensure employees are able to balance their work and family needs for decades to come.
“These new regulations are long overdue” said NAM Chairman and CEO John Engler. “The new rules will strengthen and clarify a law that has helped millions of workers and their families.”
The NAM and its members submitted detailed comments in response to the Department’s proposed rules earlier this year. The new regulations were formed after Labor had received more than 15,000 of comments from employers and employees, as well as numerous other regulatory actions and dozens of congressional hearings.
FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for certain family and medical reasons. However, the law’s regulations were confusing, making FMLA one of the most misunderstood and costly laws for employers and employees alike. This law has been difficult to interpret and implement, triggering substantial amounts of litigation that sometimes went all the way to the Supreme Court.
“The changes restore the balance intended by Congress between employer’s needs for employees, and employees’ need for time to attend to important family and medical issues,” Engler says. “Employees will be able to take time off for important family needs like the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a family member with a serious illness, or to seek treatment themselves when seriously ill.”