In 2009, the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA” or “Act”) was amended to expand military leave entitlements available under the Act. Last week, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued new regulations implementing and clarifying these amendments. In addition, the regulations increase the scope of qualifying exigency leave to include parental care and extend military caregiver leave to include care for veterans with a serious injury or illness.

From a practical perspective, these regulations do not create any significant changes to the availability or administration of FMLA benefits. However, in conjunction with these new regulations, the DOL has made revisions to its mandatory poster—Employee Rights and Responsibilities under the FMLA. Employers must begin using the updated poster no later than March 8, 2013. The Department of Labor has noted, though, that employers may start using the poster immediately.

All employers covered by the Act—generally public and private employers with 50 or more employees—are required to display the FMLA poster in a conspicuous place accessible to employees and applicants. The poster must be displayed at all worksites, even if there are no FMLA-eligible employees. The updated poster is available for free here.