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Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

What Are The Rules For Military Leave?

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The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of job-protected military caregiver leave during a single 12 month period.

Purpose of the leave

Miliary caregiver leave must be used to care for a covered family member who has a serious illness or injury that was incurred in the line of duty while on active duty in one of the following:

  • The armed forces
  • National Guard
  • Reserves

Who is covered under Military Care Leave

For this section of the FMLA only, a covered family member is one of the following: a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a "covered service member."

A covered service member is a person who is a member of one of the above forces and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy on an outpaient basis, or who is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of the service member's office, grade, rank or rating. 

Former members of the subject forces do not fall within the definition of covered service members.

Length of Military Care Leave

Entitlement to military caregiver leave is limited to 26 work weeks of leave in each 12 month period, per covered servicemember, per injury. 


Eligible employees are permitted to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for a qualifying event which arises from the employee's spouse, child or parent who is in the National Guard or Reserves being notified of an impending federal call or order to active duty in the armed forces in support of a contingency operation. Since leave does not relate to medical causes, it is beyond the scope of this article.

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