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Family And Medical Leave Act Benefits Workers And Their Families, Employers

US Labor Department releases key findings on act's 20 th anniversary

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To mark the 20 th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, the U.S. Department of Labor today released the results of a survey on its use and impact. Titled "Family and Medical Leave Act in 2012: Final Report," the survey shows that the law has had a positive effect on the lives of millions of workers and their families without imposing an undue burden on employers. 

"The Family and Medical Leave Act codified a simple and fundamental principle: Workers should not have to choose between the job they need and the family members they love and who need their care," said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. "The FMLA has helped millions upon millions of working families manage challenging personal circumstances at very little cost to their employers and with very little disruption in the workplace."

Acting Deputy Administrator for the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division Mary Beth Maxwell said, "The significance of the FMLA is in its recognition that workers aren't just contributing to the success of a business, but away from their jobs they are contributing to the health and well-being of their families. Our survey results show that, for two decades, granting job-protected leave has been good for employers and good for millions of workers and their loved ones. The FMLA is working."

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. Finally, 90 percent of workers return to their employer after FMLA leave, showing little risk to businesses that investment in a worker will be lost as a result of leave granted under the act.  

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