U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Regulations on Family and Medical Leave
By Raymond Bertrand, Maria A. Audero, James P. Carter and Julie D. Schisler
On November 17, 2008, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued final revised regulations implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). These are the DOLs first changes to the FMLAs regulations in thirteen years. The extensive revisions are the culmination of several events, including U.S. Supreme Court and lower court rulings that invalidated portions of the former regulations, the National Defense Authorization Act, which created two new leave entitlements for family members of military personnel, and the DOLs fifteen years of experience administering the FMLA.
In undertaking these revisions, the DOL sought to improve on regulations that lacked clarity, were not working well, and created friction between employers and employees. While some regulations were kept intact, re-organized or clarified, many were substantively changed. This Client Alert summarizes the significant changes and provides guidance to companies in their compliance efforts.