Understanding the Family and Medical Leave Act and How it Applies to You

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been around for 20 years now, and has supported a healthy work-life balance for all workers and veterans. A final ruling was implemented earlier this year, that expanded the FMLA to include those who care for our wounded warriors. Although it is an honorable and rewarding career to serve your country, it is also an experience that requires to call upon the strengths of a service member’s entire family. For every soldier on the front lines, there is a support team at home steadfastly marching forward, filling voids left while a loved one serves. Here’s how the law can help:

• The FMLA’s Military Caregiver Leave provides time away from work to assist a service member who has suffered a serious illness or injury in the line of duty. A family member who works for a covered employer and meets the eligibility requirements of the FMLA may be entitled to take up to 26 workweeks of unpaid leave, during a single 12-month period. This leave is available to family members of current service members and certain veterans of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves.
• The FMLA’s qualifying exigency leave provisions mean that a family member who works for a covered employer and meets eligibility requirements may be entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave to take care of issues related to the foreign deployment of the military member. Examples of qualifying exigencies include time to make or update financial and legal arrangements, to attend military events and related activities, to attend non-medical counseling and for post-deployment activities.
• Thanks to these expanded protections afforded under the FMLA, family members can take leave to attend a deployment ceremony, spend time with an active duty soldier on rest and recuperation leave, or care for a wounded active duty soldier or veteran while having the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their employer-provided benefits − such as health insurance − are still available, and that their jobs will be there when they return.

When it comes to the families that support our men and women in uniform, it is important that an individual is not put in a position where they have to choose between the family their care about and the job they need.
The FMLA’s protections only have meaning and provide real benefits when our military, their families and veterans are aware of them and use them.

For a guide to the FMLA Law, review the Employee’s Guide to Military Family Leave, employee and military worker information cards (in both English and Spanish), and other FMLA materials here.

If you are an employer and have questions regarding FLMA law and how it applies to your organization, Professional Employment Organizations (PEO) are here to help you. Outsourcing areas of human resources to a PEO allows you to focus on your company’s core competency, and know that your employees are still being cared for in a compliant manner. For more information, contact Andraya Carson with G&A Partners, at 480-229-3363 or acarson@gnapartners.com.


Source Credit: The Family and Medical Leave Act Supports Military Families, by LAURA FORTMAN on NOVEMBER 9, 2013 ·


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