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The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Proposed Rule

Federal Register, February 11, 2008, Page 7875-8001


Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor.


Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.


The Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration/Wage and Hour Division proposes to revise certain regulations implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (``FMLA''), the law that provides eligible workers with important rights to job protection for absences due to the birth or adoption of a child or for a serious health condition of the worker or a qualifying family member. The proposed changes are based on the Department's experience of nearly fifteen years administering the law, two previous Department of Labor studies of the FMLA in 1996 and 2001, several U.S. Supreme Court and lower court rulings, and the public comments received in response to a Request for Information (``RFI'') published in the Federal Register in December 2006 requesting information about experiences with the FMLA and comments on the effectiveness of these regulations.

The Department is also seeking public comment on issues to be addressed in final regulations regarding military family leave. Section 585(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 amends the FMLA to provide leave to eligible employees of covered employers to care for injured servicemembers and because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a covered family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status in support of a contingency operation (collectively referred to herein as military family leave). The provisions of this amendment providing FMLA leave to care for a covered servicemember became effective on January 28, 2008, when the law was enacted. The provisions of this amendment providing for FMLA leave due to a qualifying exigency arising out of a covered family member's active duty (or call to active duty) status are not effective until the Secretary of Labor issues regulations defining ``qualifying exigencies.'' Because of the need to issue regulations under the military family leave provisions of the amendment as soon as possible, the Department is including in this Notice a description of the relevant military family leave statutory provisions, a discussion of issues the Department has identified, and a series of questions seeking comment on subjects and issues that may be considered in the final regulations.


Comments must be received on or before April 11, 2008


You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1215-AB35, by either one of the following methods: Electronic comments, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Address all written submissions to Richard M. Brennan, Senior Regulatory Officer, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Instructions: Please submit one copy of your comments by only one method. All submissions must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN) identified above for this rulemaking. Please be advised that comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. Because we continue to experience delays in receiving mail in the Washington, DC area, commenters are strongly encouraged to transmit their comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at or to submit them by mail early.

Further Information

Richard M. Brennan, Senior Regulatory Officer, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-0066 (this is not a toll free number). Copies of this proposed rule may be obtained in alternative formats (Large Print, Braille, Audio Tape or Disc), upon request, by calling (202) 693-0675. TTY/TDD callers may dial toll-free 1-877-889-5627 to obtain information or request materials in alternative formats.