Family And Medical Leave Act

February 2, 2012 by staff 

Family And Medical Leave Act, Since 1993, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has allowed most employees to take unpaid leave to deal with certain medical or family emergencies without fear of losing their jobs or insurance benefits.

The law provides for up to 12 weeks off a year to care for a seriously ill child, deal with an aging parent or attend to any number of situations that might arise on the home front.

In 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law expanded provisions of the FMLA to help family members of those serving in the National Guard and reserves.

This week, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced plans to take the act a step further by extending the leave to cover families of those in the regular armed forces, as well as families of veterans for up to five years after leaving the military.

Under the proposed rules, which are open to public comment for the next 60 days, spouses, children or parents could take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work to help a service member who is deployed on short notice and needs help with issues like child care or making financial or legal arrangements. In addition, family members would get up to 26 weeks of leave to care for recent veterans who were injured or became ill in the line of duty, including conditions that do not arise until after leaving the armed forces.

We think the proposal is one more way for government to express its appreciation to our service men and women, as well as to their family members. The conflicts of the past decade have required military families to face a wide array of unexpected circumstances. It is important that the government do whatever it can to ease their situations as much as possible

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