A majority of the employers affected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) say dealing with any kind of unscheduled FMLA leave is difficult.
Dealing with “intermittent” FMLA leave can also be difficult, many employers say.
Analysts at Abt Associates, a consulting firm, are reporting those figures in a collection of results from a recent survey of 1,812 U.S. worksites and a companion survey of 2,852 employees.
The U.S. Labor Department commissioned the surveys to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the FMLA.
The FMLA applies to worksites with 50 employees within 75 miles of one location. The Abt analysts believe that 808 of the participating worksites were “50/75″ worksites.
About 13 percent of the workers surveyed had taken a leave for a “qualifying FMLA reason” in the previous 12 months, and 16% of the employees eligible for FMLA leave had taken an FMLA leave, the analysts said.
Federal regulators define “intermittent leave” as a case of an employee taking two or more periods of leave for the same reason.
About 23 percent of the employees who had taken FMLA leave in the past year said they had taken intermittent leaves.
The average number of episodes of absence per case of FMLA intermittent leave was 4.8 episodes.
When the Abt researchers looked at responses from all 50/75 worksites, they found that the typical worksite found a planned, short-term leave relatively easy to handle. Only 25 percent of all employers said handling a planned short-term leave would be very or somewhat difficult. About 60 percent said unplanned intermittent leave, or unplanned leave of any duration, would be very or somewhat difficult.
About 36 percent of the managers said dealing with planned intermittent leave would be challenging.