HR.BLR.com reports that the FMLA provision was part of a larger defense bill that Bush vetoed “because particular provisions included in the bill risk imposing financially devastating hardship on Iraq that will unacceptably interfere with the political and economic progress everyone agrees is critically important to bringing our troops home.” The White House had previously indicated that Bush would sign the measure.
The news report pointed out that since the veto had nothing to do with the FMLA provision, it is possible Congress will attempt to include the measure again in other legislation.
The provision called for FMLA-protected leave to workers who provide care to U.S. soldiers wounded in the line of duty and to the immediate family members of military reservists called to active duty (See House Approves FMLA Expansion for Military Families).
The bill would have required employers to give 26 weeks of unpaid leave to employees who are caring for wounded family members and 12 weeks of FMLA leave to a spouse, child, or parent of any reservist or member of the National Guard who is called to active duty. Under the measure, employees could take leave in increments of the shortest time period tracked by an employer’s payroll system.