The long wait is over...in part.
After months of reviewing thousands of comments, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Report on the Department's Request for Information on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In response to the report, SHRM urged DOL to take swift action to resolve contradictory regulations and opinions that threaten fair implementation of the FMLA.
"Based on our initial review, the Labor Department's report underscores the need to correct long-standing inequities and conflicts in how the FMLA is implemented," said Susan R. Meisinger, president and CEO of SHRM.
"Employees and employers deserve clear, fair rules on family and medical leave. SHRM urges the agency to take the next logical step and issue new rules as soon as possible to address the documented problems," Meisinger said.
Since December 2006, more than 15,000 comments were generated by employees, employers and other interested parties in response to DOL's requested for information about the effectiveness of the current FMLA regulations.
The DOL report has eleven chapters. The first chapter addresses employee perspectives on the FMLA, and the remaining 10 chapters discuss the substantive provisions of the regulations, including the definitions of a serious health condition, unscheduled intermittent leave, employee rights and responsibilities, the medical certification and verification process, and the substitution of paid leave.
SHRM is currently reviewing the report in detail and will provide a comprehensive summary for members in the coming weeks. As the founder and lead association of the National Coalition to Protect Family Leave, SHRM will continue to encourage DOL to resolve the conflicting interpretations of the Act and its implementing regulations.
SHRM conducted a survey earlier this year among its members and found that nearly two out of three HR professionals experience problems in determining when to grant "chronic leave" under the FMLA. More than half of the respondents said they face "significant challenges" in implementing the Act's medical leave provisions.
To view a copy of the report, please click HERE. To view SHRM's statement in response to the report, please click HERE.