Skip to page content
Wage and Hour Division
Bookmark and Share

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

print friendly version of this press releasePrinter-Friendly Version

Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 12-0177-NAT

Date: 

01/30/2012

Contact: 

Joshua R. Lamont or Laura McGinnis

Phone: 

(202) 693-4661 or x4653

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/.

###


U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.