The chances that a casino worker will take unnecessary FMLA leave in a given year may be high. (AP photo/Bernd Kammerer)

Many disability insurers are trying to expand their absence management and leave management programs these days.

ComPsych, a company known for its employee assistance program (EAP) services, says it has come up with concrete evidence to support the conventional wisdom that employers in some sectors need a lot more absence management help than employers in sectors.

The firm conducted a sector-by-sector analysis of outcomes in sectors in which it offers Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) administration services.

The firm divided its employer FMLA clients into six groups: Call centers, casinos, government, health care, manufacturing and professional services.

ComPsych provides FMLA administration services for thousands of workers in each of those categories, a company representative said.

The general public may think of government as a magnet for the kinds of people who find ways to get sick every Monday, but ComPsych found that, in its FMLA programs, government workers are in the middle of the pack when it comes to use of formal FMLA leave.

The percentage of the total employee population that took FMLA leave in any given year ranged from 7 percent at professional services employers to 49 percent at call centers.

Government workers ranked third from the top, with 36 percent taking FMLA leave.

The average total amount of time FMLA users were absent due to FMLA leave ranged from about 12.5 days for professional services workers to 29.5 days for casino workers.

When ComPsych took over management of the FMLA program, it reduced the FMLA leave request approval rate by 19 percent at professional services employers, 33 percent at casinos and manufacturers, 36 percent at call centers and health care companies, and 39 percent at government agencies.

ComPsych has reported an even bigger variation on sector-by-sector reductions in amount of work time lost per approved FMLA leave.

The average reduction was just 6 hours, or 6.3 percent of total leave time, at professional services firms, and 9.4 days, or about 32 percent of total leave time, at casinos.

Workers at manufacturers and government employers were in the middle of the pack, with average reductions of about 5 days, or about 20 percent of total leave time.

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