Not yet a Member?
HR Magazine is highlighting the next generation of HR leaders.
Is your employee handbook ready for the New Year? With SHRM’s Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
30+ HR education programs, including 4 NEW programs on hot topics, are available for registration.
Join us in Chicago for the latest trends and technology in talent management, and what to expect in the future.
For Immediate Release
Employers urge Department of Labor for improvements
Alexandria, Va. – What constitutes a serious health condition? How can an employer administer unscheduled leave in a way that’s fair to all employees? These are some of the questions that a coalition of employers and other organizations want resolved as improvements are made to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management, leads a coalition that has just submitted lengthy comments to the Department of Labor, which is proposing regulatory revisions to the 15-year-old law. More than 100 associations and organizations co-signed the comprehensive comments submitted by the National Coalition to Protect Family Leave (NCPFL). The group is spearheading an effort to clarify the regulations and improve FMLA administration for both employers and employees.
“Although some provisions within the FMLA regulations work well for both employers and employees, HR professionals have struggled to interpret other provisions,” said Lisa Horn, SHRM manager of health care and chair of the NCPFL. “These include intermittent leave, medical certifications, and the definition of a serious health condition. The overriding concern of SHRM members is to ensure that the FMLA regulations strike an appropriate balance between the employer’s business needs, and an employee’s need for time to attend to family and medical issues.
“Although these changes will strengthen the FMLA process for both employers and employees, they do not make
enough improvements to some of the most problematic aspects of the current regulations.”
In addition to the coalition efforts, SHRM members recently testified before panels in both the Senate and House that are reviewing the law. The society has also encouraged its members to send their own FMLA comments to the Department of Labor. To date, the department has reviewed more than 700 comments from SHRM members, with more being reviewed and posted daily.
“The original purpose of the FMLA, as envisioned by Congress, will never be fully realized until both the employee and employer communities feel comfortable in their determination that an employee is rightly entitled to FMLA leave,” said Horn. “Unless the department clarifies the FMLA rules, HR professionals will continue to encounter workplace challenges as a result of these complex regulations.”
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org.
The National Coalition to Protect Family Leave is a broad-based, non-partisan group of organizations, companies and associations dedicated to protecting the integrity of the Family and Medical Leave Act. To learn more about the coalition, visit
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Join SHRM's exclusive peer-to-peer social network
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies