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Labor Department: Employers Find It Easy to Comply With the FMLA. What?!?!

February 5, 2013

Twenty year ago today, President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law. To commemorate this anniversary, the Department of Labor has released the results of a survey of employers on the status of this law.

According to the Labor Department:

The study shows that employers generally find it easy to comply with the law, and misuse of the FMLA by workers is rare. The vast majority of employers, 91 percent, report that complying with the FMLA has either no noticeable effect or a positive effect on business operations such as employee absenteeism, turnover and morale.

Did I read that right? Does the Labor Department really conclude that "employers generally find it easy to comply with the" FMLA? I started practicing law in 1997; I've spent my entire career advising employers on the FMLA. I am not aware of any company that finds it "easy to comply with" the FMLA. In fact, most companies whom I have counseled would tell you that FMLA administration is among the most complicated of all HR functions.

Either the Labor Department found the only 1,649 employers (91 percent of the 1,812 worksites surveyed) who "find it easy to comply with" the FMLA, the Labor Department is putting some major spin on its survey results, or my read on FMLA administration is way off.

To find out for sure, I'm running my own poll, which asks the question, How difficult has it been for your company to comply with the FMLA?

Written by Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. For more information, contact Jon at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.