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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [01/30/2012]
Contact Name: Joshua R. Lamont or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x4653
Release Number: 12-0177-NAT

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis announces proposed rulemaking to
implement statutory amendments to Family and Medical Leave Act

Rule would expand military family leave provisions, incorporate
special eligibility provision for airline flight crew employees

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor is issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement new statutory amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act that would expand military family leave provisions and incorporate a special eligibility provision for airline flight crew employees.

The FMLA, enacted in 1993, entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

"Keeping the basic promise of America alive means ensuring that workers, from our servicemen and servicewomen who keep us safe at home to the flight crews who keep us safe in the skies, have the resources, support and opportunities they need and have rightfully earned," said Secretary Solis. "The proposed revisions announced today are an important step toward keeping that promise."

The proposed language would extend the entitlement of military caregiver leave to family members of veterans for up to five years after leaving the military. At this time, the law only covers family members of "currently serving" service members. Additionally, the proposal expands the military family leave provisions of the FMLA by extending qualifying exigency leave to employees whose family members serve in the regular armed forces. Currently, the law only covers families of National Guard members and reservists.

For airline flight crew employees, the proposed revision makes the benefits of the FMLA more accessible. It would add a special hours of service eligibility requirement for them and specific provisions for calculating the amount of FMLA leave used that better take into account the unique — and often difficult to track — hours worked by crew members.

Today's proposed revisions were announced by Secretary Solis in separate events with first lady Michelle Obama and International President of the Association of Flight Attendants Veda Shook.

For additional information on the FMLA, including information and fact sheets on the proposed revisions, visit
http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/
.