President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) late last year, the rights of military personnel under the
Family and Medical Leave Act were expanded to include more categories of military personnel and their
families. If you are among the many members of the military stationed
in Georgia, your rights may have been expanded by this new law.
Over the past couple of years, Congress has passed several amendments to
the FMLA which affect members of the military and their families. Among
them were amendments which permit eligible family members of members in
the National Guard and Reserves to take leave for some emergencies, and
for eligible family members to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for
a member of the regular Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves with
a “serious injury or illness” incurred in the line of duty,
and under certain circumstances.
The new amendment now allows qualified families to take an FMLA leave
to take care of military family member who is stationed overseas and/
or is a member of the Reserves or National Guard, as well as active members
of the regular military. This is an expansion of FMLA rights to the families
of all service members who are stationed overseas. Previously, those rights
were only given to family members whose military kin were actually deployed
in a hostile region.
The NDAA also expands other rights of military personnel. The law now includes
pre- existing conditions that were aggravated by an injury in the line
of duty. It also extends caregiver leave rights to veterans who are undergoing
ongoing treatment, and whose injury took place less than five years ago.
Other provisions redefine “injury” in some esoteric ways.
The Obama administration keeps expanding the rights of military members
and their families under a number of new laws and amendments to existing
laws. If you or a family member are in the armed services and stationed
at a military base in Georgia, you should take the time to consult with an