On Jan. 28, 2008, former President George W. Bush signed into
law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which amended
the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 by providing leave
to eligible employees for up to 26 weeks to care for covered
service members (known as "military caregiver leave") and allowing
eligible employees to use their regular 12 weeks of leave because
of any "qualifying exigency" arising out of a covered family
member's active duty status or notification of an impending call to
active duty in support of a contingency operation.
In response, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued revised
regulations to FMLA implementing the new provisions. The revised
regulations became effective Jan. 16, 2009.
On Oct. 28, 2009, President Barack Obama followed Bush's lead in
expanding the rights of military families under FMLA. Obama signed
into law the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year
2010, now Public Law No. 111-084. The new law significantly
broadens FMLA's military family leave provisions and promises to
increase the number of employee requests for military family
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