New FMLA regulations effective January 16, 2009

Employers - especially those who employ military family members - should train staff about the new Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") regulations. On November 17, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rules implementing amendments to the FMLA. These new regulations go into effect on January 16, 2009 and provide extended and new categories of leave rights to military family members as well as clarify definitions, benefits and requirements that affect all FMLA eligible employees. In highlight form, the regulations provide as follows:

Regulations Affecting Military Families

Regulations Affecting All FMLA Eligible Employees

Employers should train managers and human resources staff regarding revising their handbooks to address the new FMLA regulations. The extended leave to families of military personnel will be the largest issue addressed. Until employer handbooks can be reviewed and revised, employers should post notice of the new regulations. A sample FMLA poster can be found on the DOL's website at:

For assistance with training sessions and handbook review, please call or e-mail Mary Elizabeth Davis at (804) 697-2035.

Spotts Fain publications are provided as an educational service and are not meant to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers with particular needs on specific issues should retain the services of competent counsel.