In celebration of the FMLA's 20th anniversary, the Department of Labor released the results of a survey of
employers on their experiences managing the statute. According to the DOL,
"employers generally find it easy to comply with the law, and ... 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...."
That conclusion sounded so out of touch with reality that
I decided to run my own (not so scientific) poll. I asked one simple question:
How difficult has it been for your company to
comply with the FMLA?
200 responded (thanks to Jeff Nowak, the Evil HR Lady, and Robin Shea for the link-love). The results are not pretty
for the DOL's credibility. Not so surprisingly, my poll reached the exact
The complete results-
What do these resultsmean? It means that either the DOL
found the only sample of employers in the country who have no issues managing
FMLA compliance, or the DOL put so much spin on its survey results that its
conclusions are not credible. Do I need to tell you that I think it's the
I am saddened by the DOL's apparent chicanery. These
tactics do not help raise FMLA awareness; they lower the DOL's credibility. It
is no secret that (1) the United States lags behind the rest of world in workplace leave
rights; and (2) the FMLA's mission is noble, albeit one that poses an
administrative nightmare for conscientious employers. Surveys that rob the DOL
of its credibility in enforcing this statute do not help employers comply with
this law. Instead of creating surveys that mislead everyone into thinking that
the FMLA is working, the DOL should recognize that FMLA compliance is difficult
and put its resources into helping employers meet its complex maze of
Visit the Ohio Employer's Law Blog for more
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