FMLA’s 20th anniversary: New survey shows use and impact of law

February 05, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) observed the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on February 4 by releasing a survey on its use and impact.

The survey, conducted in 2012, follows previous assessments in 1995 and 2000. Both employees and worksites were surveyed. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Most worksites aren’t covered by the FMLA, but more than half of all employees are eligible. The survey’s executive summary notes that 17% of worksites reported being covered by the Act, and another 30% said they weren’t sure if they were covered. Although many employers are too small to be covered, most employees across the country are covered. According to the survey, 59% of employees meet the requirements to be eligible for the FMLA’s protections. The survey addressed what would happen if the law were changed to cover more employees. “Expanding eligibility to smaller worksites would modestly increase eligibility,” it states. “Currently, eligibility requires that firms have 50 employees within 75 miles of this worksite; lowering the cutoff to 30 employees would increase eligibility from 59 percent to 63 percent, [and] lowering it further to 20 employees would increase it to 67 percent.”

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