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The National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is similar to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in that it provides various benefits to deployed military members with families -- primarily the right to take unpaid leave without fear of losing one's job. The NDAA covers employees who have children, spouses or parents serving actively in the military.

Under the NDAA, many employees can take time off from work in the event that their family member has been deployed to active duty status. Qualifying individuals can receive as much as 12 weeks of unpaid time off work to take care of different emergency situations that might come up while the service member spouse is deployed.

Such qualifying emergencies may include:

  • Needing to give childcare to the children of a deployed military person
  • Needing to attend military ceremonies and briefings
  • Needing to make legal or financial arrangements due to the absence of a military service member

In cases where the military member is injured or becomes very ill or disabled while on duty -- or if your loved one gets hurt in a battle scenario while deployed overseas -- individuals may be able to receive an extension of up to 26 weeks for their time off.

The NDAA seeks to help those families who have sacrificed so much so that their loved ones can serve and protect our country. If you are struggling to balance your work responsibilities as a result of your spouse's military service, you may want to look into your legal rights and options under the NDAA. A California employment law attorney can provide valuable guidance.

Source: The Balance, "Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)," accessed April 20, 2018

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