National Defense Authorization Act for 2008

George W. Bush

Signed into law by George W. Bush
January 28, 2008

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act amended the FMLA to allow the use of leave for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that an employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty in the Armed Forces. The amendment also extended FMLA leave leave to employees who are caregivers for a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of who is a seriously injured service member. The amendment extended the allowable leave for these caregivers from 12 to 26 workweeks.

Enforcement & Remedies

Unlike Title VII and many other anti-discrimination statutes, plaintiffs pursuing causes of action under the FMLA have the option of filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or proceeding directly to federal district court. For employees who prevail on their claims, the “liquidated damages” provision of the FMLA provides that any award entered by a jury shall be doubled.