Family and Medical Leave Act 2013 Update and New Regulations

While the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new posting requirements for FMLA have taken effect, the updated regulatory changes apply mainly to FMLA provisions not often used by employees in the workplace.

Lets highlight a few of the key issues with regard to the revisions:

The new regulations require covered employers to post the DOL’s updated FMLA poster –http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmla.htm. The DOL has also updated the set of model forms that employers may use or adapt to comply with their FMLA notice obligations (see https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/forms).

Q. Which employees were influenced and what changes were seen?

A. The most affected include members of the military and airline flight crews.

As of March 8, 2013, an eligible employee may now take military caregiver leave to care for a “covered veteran” who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness. Military caregiver leave was previously only available to care for a current member of the Armed Forces.

The revised regulations establish special rules for airline flight crew employees concerning the hours of service requirement for determining FMLA eligibility and calculation of leave.

Why the change? Flight crews often keep odd hours when compared to a typical 40 hour work week, and their schedules generally include on-call time in addition to active work time. Therefore, thanks to the amended regulations, a flight crew employee will now meet the FMLA hours-of-service requirement if he/she has worked or been paid for more than 60 percent of the applicable total monthly guarantee, and has worked or been paid for more than 504 hours during the previous twelve months. This is as opposed to the general FMLA eligibility standard of working 1,250 hours in the previous twelve months.

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