Over the next year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) plans to identify and break down barriers to taking workplace leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This could result in more employees taking leave.
Some of the efforts the WHD plans to make include the following:
The WHD indicates that, while 15 percent of employees reported taking leave for an FMLA qualifying reason over the course of the prior year, 7 percent reported they needed to take leave for an FMLA qualifying reason, but did not do so.
The year-long efforts hope to help those who don't currently take FMLA leave. Some employees indicate that they didn't take leave because they were worried about being treated differently at work because of the reason they needed leave.
Many employees also indicate that they did not take leave because they couldn't afford to, since the FMLA provides only for unpaid leave.
The lack of a federal paid leave law continues to garner discussion, but the current chance of such a law being enacted remains low.
Key to Remember: The WHD wants to increase employee FMLA awareness throughout the coming year; this could lead to more employees taking the leave.
This article was written by Darlene M. Clabault, SHRM-CP, PHR, CLMS, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The content of these news items, in whole or in part, MAY NOT be copied into any other uses without consulting the originator of the content.