When Congress amended the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to grant additional leave entitlements to certain employees with family members in the military, its heart was in the right place. After all, who can argue against that type of leave?
Unfortunately for employers, Congress didn’t seem to think things through very carefully in drafting the legislation. First, by leaving out an effective date, it ensured that the legislation would — for the most part — be effective immediately. Then, by leaving a lot of the law’s specific requirements up to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to interpret and even decide, Congress ensured that there would be a gap of at least several months between the law’s effective date and the DOL’s issuance of regulations.