We asked 633 HR managers how many of their employees have entered active duty in the last two years. They replied:
1 to 5: 23%
More than 5: 5%
If you have employees who go on active duty or are reserve members who could be called into active duty, stay abreast of the two military-related changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act:
Service Member Caregiver Leave
FMLA leave for this purpose can be up to 26 weeks (rather than the standard 12 weeks), and is available to individuals who may not be family members under the current definition in the FMLA, and can be related to conditions that may not be “serious health conditions” as previously defined by the FMLA. An employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent or nearest blood relative to a member of the Armed Forces who is being treated for, recuperating from or is on the temporary disability retired list due to a serious injury or illness is entitled to a total of 26 work weeks of leave during a 12-month period to provide care for the service member.
Note that “serious injury or illness” is defined in the amendment as an injury or illness incurred in the line of active duty that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating. This leave is only available during a single 12-month period. The U.S. Department of Labor has stated that employers need to comply with this portion of the amendment immediately and will be issuing regulations in the future. In the meantime, employers need to use “good faith” in providing Service Member Caregiver Leave.
Family Leave Due to Call to Active Duty
Employees also are entitled to FMLA leave due to a “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty or has been called or notified about an impending order to active duty in support of a contingency operation.
Contingency operations involve actions, operations or hostilities against enemies of the United States or opposing forces or active duty during a war or national emergency.