Guess what federal leave statute was enacted 20 years ago? That's right, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrates its 20-year anniversary on February 5, 2013! Given this monumental anniversary, it is likely that policymakers will take this opportunity, through Congressional hearings and other activities, to examine how the law is working in the 20 years since its enactment.
SHRM also anticipates that the Department of Labor will issue a final rule making various changes to the FMLA implementing regulations later this spring. Although the anticipated regulations primarily focus on recently-enacted legislative changes dealing with military leave and airline flight crews, they are expected to affect provisions on how to calculate increments of intermittent leave. SHRM has informed DOL that we oppose any restrictions to an employer’s ability to charge up to an hour of FMLA leave for unscheduled, intermittent leave and urged the Department to withdraw the unnecessary changes.
While SHRM supports the spirit and intent of the FMLA, we remain wary of proposals to expand the law at this time, given the many challenges HR professionals continue to experience administering FMLA leave. SHRM is committed to improving FMLA implementation and welcomes dialogue on its Principles for a 21st Century Workplace Flexibility Public Policy.
When Work Works Update
Raising awareness of the benefits of workplace flexibility in states and communities across the country is a primary goal of the When Work Works initiative. Reaching this goal is made possible through a network of Community Partners, which includes a growing number of SHRM State Councils and Chapters. Recently, the Panhandle Human Resources Association, the Maryland SHRM State Council, and the SHRM Rhode Island State Council have joined this growing list of Community Partners and are helping SHRM and the Families and Work Institute promote the Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. Sloan Award applications are open now through April 5, 2013 at www.whenworkworks.org.
Enthusiasm for When Work Works educational programs continues to grow. SHRM Field Service Director Dianna Gould and Tanya Covert, Idaho State Council Director are pictured above at a recent workflex event in Idaho. This month’s programs include: