In 2013 the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) was amended by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Here are some of the most significant changes.

Qualifying Exigency Leave

Previously, the FMLA only provided for family members to take leave if they had a family member who had been notified of an impending call to active duty for the Regular Armed Forces. Under the amendments, that has been expanded to include members of the National Guards and Reserves.

The amendments also define active duty more specifically, stating that it requires deployment to a foreign country.

In addition, the new regulations allow for eligible employees to take leave to care for a military members’s parent who is incapable of self care.

The regulations also allow for employees to take leave of up to fifteen days to spend time with a military member who is on Rest and Recuperation leave.

Military Caregiver Leave

The new regulations expand the definitions of service members who qualify to have family members take leave to care for them. The new definition includes service members undergoing medical treatment recuperation, therapy for a serious injury or illness (including those that existed before the service member began active duty and were aggravated during active duty).

Veterans are covered under the regulations if the individual was honorably discharged or released at anytime during the five-year period prior to the first date the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran.

Minimum Increments of Leave

The regulations explicitly state that an employer is not allowed to force an employee to take more leave than is necessary to address the circumstances precipitating the leave.


The regulations specify the employer’s obligation to ensure compliance with the confidentiality requirements of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).

FMLA Poster

The amendments made the FMLA poster more accessible. It can now be found on the Department of Labor’s website.