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Should We Expect New FMLA Regulations?

Published by on December 2, 2007

According to Workplace Prof Blog there will be no new FMLA regulations anytime soon.  WPB tenders a prediction that a Democratic administration in 2008 might result in paid leave provisions being added to the FMLA.  On the other hand, employers and other groups such as the Heritage Foundation, advocate for changes in the regulations with […]

According to Workplace Prof Blog there will be no new FMLA regulations anytime soon.  WPB tenders a prediction that a Democratic administration in 2008 might result in paid leave provisions being added to the FMLA.  On the other hand, employers and other groups such as the Heritage Foundation, advocate for changes in the regulations with respect to medical certification and intermittent leave.

 CCH reports on a survey of HR professionals earlier in the year conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  Some of the findings in the survey, as reported by CCH, include: 

  • Nearly two-thirds of HR professionals have had problems in determining when to grant “chronic leave” under the Act.
  • Fifty-one percent of HR professionals have faced “significant challenges” in implementing leave.
  • Four out of 10 HR professionals said they had to grant FMLA requests they believed were not legitimate because of the law’s regulations.
  • More than half (57 percent) found it somewhat or very difficult to determine if a health condition is a “serious health condition.”
  • Forty-seven percent had difficulties administering episodic FMLA leave for employees with serious health conditions.

BLR reported in October that over one-half of HR professionals expect to see new FMLA regulations in the next 2 years.

As this author commented in 2005, the FMLA dramatically changed the employment law landscape when it arrived.  It appears that we are now at a fork in the road with respect to the FMLA.  On the one side are employer-advocates, who want revisions to the medical certification and intermittent leave provisions.  On the other side are the employee-advocates, who want paid family leave and other employee-friendly changes.  The scope of the FMLA over the next five years may very well depend on the 2008 election.

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