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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations (RIN 1215-AB35)

Welcome to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Website on the proposed changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Regulations. 

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the result of a comprehensive review of the Department’s fifteen years of experience administering the law, two previous Department of Labor studies of the FMLA (1996, 2001), several U.S. Supreme Court and lower court rulings, and over 15,000 public comments received in response to a Request for Information (RFI) (PDF) published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2006, and summarized in the Department’s June 2007 Report on the RFI (PDF).

In addition, recent amendments to the FMLA were enacted on January 28, 2008, as Section 585(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181).  The amendments provide two new leave entitlements to eligible specified family members: 

(1) Up to 12 weeks of leave for qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered family member's active military duty, and

(2) Up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember recovering from a serious illness or injury.  Eligible employees are entitled to a combined total of up to 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave.

In addition to proposing changes to the current FMLA regulations, the NPRM includes a description of the new military family leave provisions, a discussion of the issues the Department has identified under those provisions, and a series of questions seeking public comment on subjects and issues that may be addressed in the final regulations.  Because of the need to issue regulations as soon as possible so that employees and employers are aware of their respective rights and obligations regarding military family leave under the FMLA, the Department anticipates that the next step in the rulemaking process, after a full consideration of the comments received in response to the discussion of the military family leave provisions in the NPRM, will be the issuance of final regulations.

Comments on the NPRM:

Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov until 12:00 midnight April 11, 2008.  Once on the site, enter the key words “Family and Medical Leave Act” (include quotation marks) in the “COMMENT OR SUBMISSION” field to file a submission or view submitted comments.  Follow the instructions for submitting comments. (Comments may also be submitted by mail as indicated in the Federal Register notice.  Due to delays in mail processing, electronic submission is strongly recommended.)  Please be advised that comments received will be posted without change, including any personal information provided, and will be viewable by the public on the www.regulations.gov Website.

Additional information on the NPRM:

Additional information on the military family leave amendments to the FMLA:

Additional information on the FMLA: