Department of Labor officials recently announced that they have proposed new regulations governing the Family and Medical Leave Act , the New York Times reports (Greenhouse, New York Times, 1/25). The federal law currently requires businesses with 50 or more workers to offer employees who have worked at the business for one year -- or 1,250 hours -- 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The law also requires that unpaid leave be available for serious health conditions, to care for a newly adopted child, or to care for a seriously ill spouse, child or parent.
Currently, employees can take two days off before requesting leave, but the proposed rule generally would require workers to call in to request leave before taking it, the Times reports. The department also is drafting regulations to put into effect changes that Congress approved earlier this month, including leave for the families of wounded veterans or leave for "any qualifying exigency" related to a family member's call-up to active duty or deployment, according to the Times (New York Times, 1/25). According to AP/Google.com, areas of the law likely to see changes include medical certification for FMLA leave, unscheduled intermittent leave for people claiming chronic health conditions, and employee awareness of their rights under the law.