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How will the Pending FMLA Changes Affect Your Business?

2013 FMLA Changes Creating
New Compliance Requirements
for Employers

On February 5th, 2013, the anniversary of the signing of the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final ruling that expands the benefits provided to families of military servicemembers and airline flight crews. More specifically, the ruling implements the FMLA amendments outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2010 and the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act (AFCTCA) as well as a few other provisions. The major changes include:

  • Caregiver leave has been expanded to allow families of veterans discharged within the past five years to now receive the same FMLA-protected leave that other military families receive from current servicemembers
  • Caregiver leave now allows families to take FMLA-protected leave for pre-existing injuries or illnesses due in part by being in the line of duty
  • The length of leave for employee can take when a servicemember arrives for their “rest and recuperation” period has been extended from 5 to 15 days
  • Exigency leave has been extended to provide leave to families of Regular US Armed Forces provided they are being deployed to a foreign country (previously, it was only the National Guard and Reserves
  • Families may request FMLA-protected leave for activities related to servicemember deployments
  • Airline flight crew must meet a new hours worked threshold of 60 percent of the applicable total monthly guarantee and 504 working hours during the 12 months prior to their request leave

Beyond that, the new FMLA amendments will also create new posting requirements for employers. In order for businesses to stay in compliance, they will need to display the new mandatory FMLA poster and utilize updated FMLA forms, workplace policies and training tools – available on – by March 8th, 2013 when the ruling takes effect. It is estimated 381,000 covered employers and government agencies that employ more than 91 million workers will be impacted by the 2013 FMLA changes.