FMLA Expansion for Military Family Headed to White House Again

January 23, 2008 ( - Congress has given its final stamp of approval to an expansion of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to family members of active duty military service personnel.

A Business Insurance report said the U.S. Senate passed the measure with the FMLA provision in it on a 91 to 3 vote on Tuesday. The U.S. House cleared the measure last month.

The FMLA expansion was previously tucked into a larger defense bill that was vetoed by President Bush (See  Bush Vetoes FMLA Expansion for Military Families ). The extension is again tucked into a Defense Department Authorization measure that now moves on to President Bush.

The FMLA expansion allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave when a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty in the Armed Forces or is called up for active duty, according to the news report.

The measure also provides for employees to take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave – up from the current 12-week annual maximum – to take care of a child, parent, or spouse who incurred an injury during military service when that injury results in the service member being unable to perform his or her duties.

The expansion represents the first since Congress passed the FMLA 15 years ago this month.