The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been amended by the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Bush on January 28, 2008. The Act provides up to 26 work weeks for the next of kin to a seriously injured active member of the Armed Forces to care for that service member. The Act also provides up to 12 work weeks for “exigencies” related to a service member’s being called to duty.

Eligible employees are defined as the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member.

A covered service member is defined as a member of the Armed Forces undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness.

The serious injury or illness is defined as that which was incurred in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, or ranking.