Phone: 630-495-2282 Fax: 630-495-2260 Map/Directions

FMLA changed for military family leave

November 15, 2010

A new publication from the National Automobile Dealers Association, "A Dealer Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act: 2009," outlines the qualifying exigencies for military family leave under the act.

Among the changes effective January 2009 is the extension of FMLA leave in certain circumstances to allow eligible employees to care for family who serve or served in the armed forces.

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, son or daughter (of any age), or parent of the employee is on active or call to active duty status in the Reserves, National Guard, or are retired members of the Regular Armed Forces or Reserves in support of a contingency operation.

This leave is not available to family of Regular Armed Forces members. The regulations provide an exclusive list of eight qualifying exigencies or needs that would qualify employees for FMLA leave. They are listed in abbreviated form below:

1. Short-notice deployment. The service member must be notified of an impending call or order to active duty seven or fewer days prior to the date of deployment.

2. Military events and related activities. Employees may take leave to attend official ceremonies, programs, or events sponsored by the military, and for family support and assistance programs and informational briefings sponsored or promoted by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross, that are related to the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered service member.

3. Child care and school activities. An employee may take leave for qualifying child care and school activities requiring attention because a covered service member is on active duty or call to active duty status.

4. Financial and legal arrangements. Employees may take leave to address financial or legal arrangements related to the service member’s absence.

5. Counseling. Employees can take leave to attend counseling provided by a person other than a health care provider (e.g., by a military chaplain, pastor, or minister, or by a military or military services organization).

6. Rest and recuperation. Employees may take FMLA leave to spend with servicemembers on short-term, temporary rest, or recuperation leave during the period of deployment.

7. Post-deployment activities. Employees may take leave to attend arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and other official ceremonies or programs sponsored by the military for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered service member’s active duty status.

8. Additional activities. Employees may take leave for additional activities that arise out of a service member’s active or call to active duty status not otherwise enumerated, if the employer and employee agree that the leave is qualifying and to both the timing and duration of the leave.

Complete information is in the NADA publication, which can be ordered online at or by calling the NADA at (800) 252-NADA ext. 2.