The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued proposed regulations to address various issues regarding how federal employers may comply with the new military caregiver provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The proposed regulations are similar to the FMLA regulations issued last year by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). They have, however, been tweaked to address the interaction of the military caregiver leave provisions with the various paid leave programs that are available to federal employees. The regulations do not address qualifying exigency leave because that type of leave is not afforded to federal employees.
In addition to its general provisions regarding military caregiver leave, the proposed regulations:
- Expand the situations in which paid leave may be advanced to an employee to cover military caregiver situations;
- Clarify how federal employers are to handle situations in which an employee who takes military caregiver leave is either: 1) advanced paid leave that he has not yet accrued, or 2) the recipient of paid leave that is donated by other employees; and
- Propose other changes that would allow federal employers to advance sick leave to employees who need it in order to care for a sick family member who has or has been exposed to a “serious communicable disease” such as the swine flu.
The regulations were published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2009. (74 Fed. Reg. 43064.) Public comments will be accepted prior to October 26, 2009.