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Pending FMLA Military Family Leave Legislation

On July 30, 2009, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) and Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Cal) introduced legislation entitled “The Supporting Military Families Act” (S. 1543/H.R. 3403).  The legislation would extend up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to family members of injured veterans for five years after the veteran leaves service, provided the veteran develops a service-related injury or illness that was incurred, or, in the case of an existing injury, was aggravated, while on active duty.  This new legislation would expand upon the leave rights afforded service members and their families under last year’s amendments to the FMLA.  The bill seeks to address a number of service-related illnesses and injuries that may not manifest themselves until after a servicemember has left the military.  Additionally, the bill seeks to extend eligibility for exigency leave to all active-duty personnel deployed to a foreign country.


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