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New FMLA Regulations May Be on the Way; Senator Dodd Expresses Concern

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

The New York Times reported late last week that the Department of Labor is considering new regulations to the Family and Medical Leave Act that would address concerns that employers have had about some employees are abusing the leave.  (H/T The Word on Employment Law)

Under the new rules being discussed, From Dodd archivesemployees would have to call in to request FMLA leave before taking it, as opposed to the present situation where employees can take off two days before requesting leave.  The regulations will also address the new military leave provisions that I’ve mentioned previously.

As these regulations are likely to undergo some further discussion and revisions, I’ll await serious analysis until we see what is actually being proposed — rather than just discussed at this stage.  FMLA Blog has some thoughts worth reviewing.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who authored the original FMLA bill, is already concerned about the path being carved out and issued a statement today expressing those concerns.

“I am concerned by the reports that the Department of Labor may impose new regulations that will make it more difficult for workers to take advantage of the leave FMLA provides. Over the past 15 years, FMLA has helped more than 50 million families during critical moments in their lives, and any effort to scale back these protections is simply unacceptable.

“As I have said time and time again, if there is any problem with FMLA, it is that it doesn’t go far enough. That is why I support new ways to expand this legislation so more Americans can benefit from its provisions. Most recently, I authored a provision to expand FMLA benefits for up to six months for family members of wounded military personnel. As this disastrous war drags on with no end in sight, it is critically important that we ensure that the brave men and women of our armed forces receive the care and support they need when they return home. Allowing their family to be there during the often lengthy rehabilitation process without the constant fear of losing their job is one of the best things we can do for our troops. I hope the Department of Labor keeps these concerns at the forefront as they draft their new regulations.”