When a family member is deployed to a foreign country with the Armed Forces, your life can change very quickly. Many of these changes can require your prompt attention. Even though no one is ill or injured, you may need time away from work to address these issues.
If your spouse, parent, son or daughter is a military member who is deployed or has been notified of an impending deployment to a foreign country and are an eligible employee, you may be entitled to qualifying exigency leave. Qualifying exigency leave allows you to take up to a total of 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for qualifying exigencies, such as making different day care arrangements for the military member’s children or attending official military ceremonies as your family member prepares to deploy. See below for more information on qualifying exigency leave under the FMLA.
Qualifying exigency is defined by providing a specific and exclusive list of reasons for which an eligible employee can take leave because of a qualifying exigency.
These reasons are divided into eight general categories:
1. Short-notice deployment: allows leave to address any issue that arises from the fact that a covered military member is notified of an impending call or order to active duty seven or less calendar days prior to the date of deployment. Leave taken for this purpose can be used for a period of seven calendar days beginning on the date the covered military member is notified of an impending call or order to active duty.
2. Military events and related activities: allows leave to attend any official ceremony, program, or event sponsored by the military and to attend family support and assistance programs and informational briefings sponsored or promoted by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross that are related to the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member.
3. Childcare and school activities: allows leave to arrange childcare or attend certain school activities for a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, or a legal ward of the covered military member, or a child for whom the covered military member stands in loco parentis, who is either under age 18, or age 18 or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability at the time that FMLA leave is to commence.
4. Financial and legal arrangements: allows leave to make or update financial or legal arrangements to address the covered military member’s absence while on active duty or call to active duty status, such as preparing and executing financial and healthcare powers of attorney, transferring bank account signature authority, etc. while the covered military member is on active duty or call to active duty status and for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered military member’s active duty status.
5. Counseling: allows leave to attend counseling provided by someone other than a healthcare provider for oneself, for the covered military member, or for the biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, or a legal ward of the covered military member, or a child for whom the covered military member stands in loco parentis, who is either under age 18, or age 18 or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability at the time that FMLA leave is to commence, provided that the need for counseling arises from the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member.
6. Rest and recuperation: allows leave to spend time with a covered military member who is on short-term, temporary rest and recuperation leave during the period of deployment. Eligible employees may take up to five days of leave for each instance of rest and recuperation.
7. Post-deployment activities: allows leave to attend arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and any other official ceremony or program sponsored by the military for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered military member’s active duty and to address issues that arise from the death of a covered military member while on active duty status, such as meeting and recovering the body of the covered military member and making funeral arrangements.
8. Additional Activities: allows leave to address other events which arise out of the covered military member’s active duty or call to active duty status provided that the employer and employee agree that such leave qualifies as an exigency, and agree to both the timing and duration of the leave
To take qualifying exigency leave, the military member must be your spouse, parent, son or daughter.
- Parent means a biological, adoptive, step or foster father or mother, or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to you when you were a child. This term does not include parents "in law."
- Son or daughter for qualifying exigency leave, son or daughter means your biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom you stood in loco parentis, and who is of any age.
- Spouse means a husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides, including common law marriage in States where it is recognized (Oregon is not a "common law marriage" state).
Covered Active Duty
Once you have determined that you are an eligible employee, you must determine whether your spouse, parent or child who is serving in the military is on "covered active duty" or call to "covered active duty" status (or has been notified of an impending call or order to "covered active duty").
"Covered Active Duty" means:
- For members of the regular Armed Forces, duty during deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country.
For members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces (members of the National Guard and Reserves), duty during deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation.
Deployment to a foreign country means deployment to areas outside of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any Territory or possession of the United States, including international waters.
Required information Washington County requires that leave for any qualifying exigency specified, be supported by a certification from the employee that sets forth the following information:
A statement or description, signed by the employee, of appropriate facts regarding the qualifying exigency for which FMLA leave is requested. The facts must be sufficient to support the need for leave. Such facts should include information on the type of qualifying exigency for which leave is requested and any available written documentation which supports the request for leave; such documentation, for example, may include a copy of a meeting announcement for informational briefings sponsored by the military, a document confirming an appointment with a counselor or school official, or a copy of a bill for services for the handling of legal or financial affairs;
The approximate date on which the qualifying exigency commenced or will commence
If an employee requests leave because of a qualifying exigency for a single, continuous period of time, the beginning and end dates for such absence;
If an employee requests leave because of a qualifying exigency on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, an estimate of the frequency and duration of the qualifying exigency; and
- If the qualifying exigency involves meeting with a third party, appropriate contact information for the individual or entity with whom the employee is meeting (such as the name, title, organization, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address) and a brief description of the purpose of the meeting.