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Stephanie, thanks for sharing this. The FMLA is a landmark piece of legislation that - for all of its problems - has lead to the betterment of the work environment for most employees.

Lots of good data here. I look forward to continuing to read.

Thanks for sharing, and keep writing.



I'd say it's a mixed bag. We had to have specialists to deal with it. There are still too many loopholes. We have had employees go for a visit overseas to their home country and conveniently become ill and have to stay longer. No trouble getting a doctor's note there!

But worse is intermittent leave. You can't plan for that! So next time you are on hold longer than usual, it may be because someone used their intermittent leave - again for the 20th time this year.

I found this a thoughtful article and forwarded it to the head of our Disability Management Team. Following are his comments:

"As the article revealed, organizations with smaller employee populations find FMLA fairly simple to administer and manage. For larger organizations like (us), the intermittent leaves are challenging to manage and track. Intermittent leaves require daily monitoring and tracking of days used and/ or restored. For those on extended disabilities where FMLA runs in tandem with the leave it’s less difficult.

The bigger challenge is addressing suspected abuse of FMLA. I’d say (our) suspected abuse is somewhere between 4 to 5%. Leadership throughout the company would also tell you that FMLA intermittent leaves create scheduling issues because the absences are unpredictable. In general, FMLA is one of the leading complaints we receive from leadership throughout the company.

Although I understand the legislative intent of the law and benefit to those who truly need the coverage, FMLA by design has added a great deal of complexity to claims management. I would disagree with the author’s comments that employers 20 years later have a “good handle on administration” of FMLA. To the contrary, recent amendments (over the last 5 years) has increased administrative issues for employers trying to adjust to new EEOC regulations and law changes resulting from unfavorable court decisions."

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