Taking care of family
January 30th, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Taking care of family

First Lady Michelle Obama spent Monday morning talking about one of her favorite causes, taking care of military families.  She announced proposed changes to the Family Medical Leave Act that will help military families take care of service members and their kids when they are called up for active duty or are injured.  In front of a crowd of military families and leaders at the U.S. Department of Labor, Mrs. Obama said the rules will "give more families support and flexibility" to take care of their loved ones.

The new proposal  includes the creation of a special 26-week military caregiver leave entitlement, this would be an additional option to the 12-week leave  currently available under the FMLA. The first lady said the rule "means that more caregivers can now provide support at a hospital for days or weeks at a time.  They can help they loved ones make that transition back home.  And they can do it all without worrying whether they will lose their job."

The new rule also includes veterans who have been discharged within the past 5 years. They too would be covered under this proposal, though the initial illness or injury must have been incurred while on active duty. This amends the current law which only covers family members of those currently serving in the military.

Another part of the proposal allows the families of regular active duty military who have recently been deployed to take up to 12 weeks to deal with child care, financial or legal issues.  Previously this rule only included active duty National Guard and Reserves.

The proposals will have a 60 day public comment period before the final rule is implemented. Congress does not need to act for this rule to take effect.

For more information on the proposed revisions visit


soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. george of the jungle

    class act all the way.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  2. sarah davis

    I love it! Anything that can be done to support military families is well desrved! Love Michelle Obama!

    January 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Auth

      GHETTO!!! Nikki and McCall I ADORE you both and it was wonderful seineg you again! Can't wait to catch up in Vegas and give you huuuuuge hugs! xxxo

      May 20, 2012 at 3:53 am |
  3. Anne

    I love the first lady, but this has been in effect for over a year.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  4. wsjiii

    Support our troops – Ron Paul 2012!

    January 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  5. jerrylax

    boy...sure acts desperate for press...acting like this program just began. hahaha

    January 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Trace

      you are pathetic....both the Flotus and Dr. Biden have been doing this for PAST THREE YEARS...come out from under the rock sometime

      January 31, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  6. JCC

    I am a Marriage Family Therapist and would love to work with military families and service members. However the federal government will not pay Marriage Family Therapists, they will pay social workers. We do the same type of work. How about getting the federal government to open the door to Marriage Family Therapists so many more military families can be served. I continue to hear calls for help for the military I would like to help.

    February 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  7. Tess

    I find it odd that Michelle is talking up military family benefits while her husband is talking about raising the cost of VETERAN FAMILY BENEFITS. Dont they talk to each other?
    Feb. 2012 – An Obama administration plan to have military families and retirees pay much more for healthcare, while unionized civilian workers' benefits are untouched, is causing a major rift in the Pentagon, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:00 am |