(This guest post was written by the attorneys of Mirick O’Connell)
On March 8, 2013, the United States Department of Labor’s Final Regulations regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act will go into effect.
Unlike previous changes to the FMLA Regulations, these changes are not as wide ranging. Of note, the Final Regulations expand the definition of a qualifying exigency arising from a military member’s covered active duty or notice of or call to covered active duty to include caring for the military member’s parent when the care is necessitated by the member’s covered active duty. The Final Regulations also increase the amount of time for leave related to the military member’s rest and recuperation from 5 to 15 days.
The Final Regulations further define what constitutes a serious injury or illness for a current military member or covered veteran and amend the medical certification process for such injuries or illnesses. They also clarify that all periods of absence from work due to USERRA-covered service, including both active duty and reserve service, must be counted as time worked for the purpose of determining an employee’s eligibility for FMLA leave.
The Final Regulations also clarify that employers must comply with the confidentiality requirements of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).
Employers should post the updated DOL Poster by March 8. Employers should also ensure that their FMLA policies accurately reflect the changes in the Final Regulations. Also, for employers who use the DOL’s forms, the DOL has updated its certification forms for qualifying exigencies, serious health injury or illness for a covered military member and serious injury or illness of a veteran for military caregiver leave.