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SHRM Survey Shows FMLA Needs Clarity
 

   3/16/2007
 

Nearly two-thirds of HR professionals have experienced problems in determining when to grant “chronic leave” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), leading to employee morale issues and loss of productivity, according to a new SHRM survey.  The survey, which was released by The National Coalition to Protect Family Leave on March 13, 2007, also found that more than half (51%) of HR professionals have faced “significant challenges” in implementing the medical leave provisions of the FMLA.  SHRM leads the Coalition.

“The FMLA is an important labor law designed to benefit all employees, and it deserves to be administered fairly, as Congress intended,” said Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, President and CEO of SHRM and a Coalition leader.  “Our survey demonstrates that clearer rules are needed to eliminate the persistent confusion among employees and employers since the FMLA became law 14 years ago.”

As currently interpreted by the U.S. Labor Department, the FMLA has become one of the largest causes of rising business costs associated with uncontrolled employee absences.  SHRM and the Coalition are working to highlight the need changes in the FMLA rules.

SHRM’s survey of over 600 human resource professionals across the country quantifies difficulties surrounding FMLA implementation.  Other key findings were: 

 4 in 10 HR professionals have had to grant FMLA requests that they believed were not legitimate due to the Department of Labor’s regulations or interpretations.

 More than half (57%) of respondents found it somewhat difficult or very difficult to determine if a health condition is a “serious health condition.”

 80% of respondents said they had difficulty tracking and/or administering intermittent FMLA leave.

 Almost half (47%) of HR professionals experienced challenges in administering and/or granting leave under the FMLA for employees with serious health conditions as a result of episodic conditions.

For more information about The National Coalition to Protect Family Leaveor SHRM’s work to clarify FMLA rules, please contact Lisa Hornin SHRM’s Government Affairs department or call her at 703/535-6352.   

For more information about these and other public policy issues, please visit www.shrm.org
©2007 Society for Human Resource Management

 

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