New Rules Restore Balance to FMLA, Protecting Employees and Employers

Nov 17, 2008

New Rules Restore Balance to FMLA, Protecting Employees and Employers

SHRM Welcomes Improved FMLA Regulations

Alexandria, Va. – New regulations to The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) should help provide long needed clarity to the rules and allow for smother implementation in the workplace, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The new rules, released today by the Department of Labor, will help restore the balance intended by Congress between employers’ needs to maintain productivity and employees’ needs for time to attend to important family and medical issues.

SHRM anticipates that the lengthy review process by Labor officials, in addition to the more than 10 congressional hearings and in-depth review of nearly 15,000 stakeholder proposals, will produce a tighter set of regulations that will clear up a confusing and contradictory FMLA regulatory system that has been difficult to understand for employees and unworkable for employers to administer.

“This landmark piece of legislation has presented challenges in the workplace due to vague and confusing regulations which have allowed for misuse of leave, unfairly burdening colleagues forced to cover the unpredictable absences of their co-workers,” said China Minor Gorman, SHRM’s Chief Operating Officer. “While additional improvements are still needed, this rule strikes the right balance, preserving the Act’s critical benefits for employees and providing HR professionals and the organizations they support with greater clarity as they implement this law.”

SHRM’s nationwide network of more than 250,000 professionals will continue to work with Labor officials and groups representing employers and employees to ensure that FMLA continues to strike the balance intended by Congress between employers and employees.

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About the Society for Human Resource Management​

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 individual members, the Society’s mission is both to serve human resource management professionals and to advance the profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and members in more than 130 countries, including offices in China and India. Visit SHRM online at


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