FMLA Exigency Leave

What Qualifies as Exigency Leave for Military FMLA?

An eligible employee may qualify for FMLA leave if there is a qualifying exigency due to one of these eight conditions affecting a spouse, son, daughter, or parent in the armed forces:

  1. Short-notice deployment: If the military member is called to active duty 7 days or less before the date of deployment, the employee may take FMLA to handle issues arising from the short-notice call to duty.
  2. Official Military Ceremonies and Programs: An employee may take FMLA to be present at any official military event related to an immediate family member’s call to active duty.
  3. Child care: An employee may take FMLA to arrange for alternative or emergency child care, or to meet with school officials or caregivers when the need arises due to a covered family member’s active duty.
  4. Financial or Legal matters: If an employee needs to stand in for a covered military member regarding financial or legal arrangements, the employee may take FMLA.
  5. Counseling: A covered employee may take FMLA to attend counseling sessions if the counseling is directly related to the military member’s active duty.
  6. R&R: Spending time with a military member on leave for temporary R&R qualifies as FMLA.
  7. End of active duty: An employee may take FMLA to attend military events related to the termination of a covered family member’s active duty.
  8. Other: Other events may qualify as exigency leave for covered employees if they are a direct result of a covered family member’s active military duty.

At the covered employee’s initial request for FMLA, the employer has a right to request a copy of the family member’s military orders, but this request may only be made once. 

The employer may also request supporting documentation for other types of military FMLA such as:

  • official notices of military events
  • confirmation of meetings with school/daycare officials
  • invoices for financial or legal services

Read the Department of Labor’s fact sheet for more information on allowable inquiries that employers may make when determining whether leave qualifies or visit the DOL’s FMLA page.

Susan Warren, CPP
Software Support Specialist

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