As of September 2017, Steven Schwartz merged his firm, Steven H. Schwartz & Associates, P.L.C. with Keller Thoma, P.C. and became a partner in that firm.  Mr. Schwartz continues his practice as an employment and labor relations attorney, and as an arbitrator.  For further information, please go to the Keller Thoma website.

Amendments to the FMLA – Military

Amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act provide (1) up to six months of leave for family members caring for military veterans injured while on active duty in the Armed Forces and (2) 12 weeks of leave to family members of armed services personnel called up to active duty under certain circumstances.

US-Dept-of-Labor-sealThe amendments cover leaves to care for members of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, who have suffered a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty, that may render the members medically unfit to perform the duties of their office, grade, rank, or rating. It applies broadly to service members who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, are in outpatient status, or otherwise are on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness. For this type of leave, the legislation expands the definition of covered employee to include the “next of kin,” or nearest blood relative, of a covered service member.

The final legislation also contains a provision providing up to 12 weeks of leave because of any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that a covered employee’s spouse, child or parent is on or has been called to active duty in the Armed Forces. This provision provides 12 weeks of leave to the immediate family of service members called to active duty and complements state family military leave laws that provide for shorter duration of leave or only cover spouses of service members.

Employers should amend their FMLA policies to provide employees with notice of these new leave entitlements.