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Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

WHD News Release: [04/12/2012]
Contact Name: Joshua R. Lamont or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x4653
Release Number: 12-0710-NAT

US Department of Labor extends comment period on proposed rule to implement statutory amendments to Family and Medical Leave Act

Interested parties may submit comments through April 30

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has extended the comment period for its proposed rule 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.

On Feb. 15, the department published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register with a public comment period scheduled to end on April 16. Although many comments already have been submitted on the proposal, the department has received requests from various organizations to extend the comment period.

Because of the interest that has been expressed and the department's desire to obtain as much information about its proposal as possible, the comment period has been extended through April 30. To view the proposed rule and submit comments, visit the federal e-rulemaking portal at and search by regulation identification number 1235-AA03.

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

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.

For additional information on the FMLA, including information and fact sheets on the proposed revisions, visit