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EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Fri., July 27, 2007 8:30 a.m. EDT
(Alexandria, Va., July 27, 2007)—Nearly 40 percent of human resource (HR) professionals report that confusion over implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Act has led to illegitimate leave being granted, according to a report released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
SHRM surveyed 521 respondents on FMLA-related compliance issues, in the wake of regulatory and judicial actions that have clouded and confused its original intent, resulting in inconsistent and inequitable implementation.
"The FMLA is long overdue for a check-up to ensure it serves the best interests of our employees' health and well being," said Susan R. Meisinger, president and CEO of SHRM. "The SHRM study provides insight into what front-line HR professionals are encountering and highlights the need for change."
Respondents report that there have been more requests to take FMLA leave in the last five years compared with 10 years ago, particularly for episodic conditions (ongoing injuries, ongoing illnesses, and/or non-life threatening conditions).
SHRM's study follows on the heels of a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recent release of findings from a Request for Information to solicit comments from the public on FMLA.
"This new SHRM study reaffirms the need for clarifications and improvements to FMLA," said Mike Aitken, director of governmental affairs for SHRM.
Key findings in the SHRM study include:
SHRM's "FMLA and Its Impact on Organizations" survey numbers show:
SHRM's 521 survey respondents represent publicly- and privately-owned companies, nonprofits, and the government sector. The margin of error is four percent.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was established to provide job-protected unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The results from this survey will assist policy-makers as they seek to make possible changes to FMLA rules.
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