FMLA: Perceptions, Utilization and Changes

by Kelly McDoniel- Blog Admin


FMLA Statistics: Perceptions and Utilization

In 2012, WorldatWork conducted the “Snapshot Survey: FMLA Proposed Rules” to gauge employer and employee perceptions on usage and experience administering FMLA leave. Below are some of the key findings:

  • Compliance:
    • Employers reported FMLA compliance as moderately difficult:  54%
    • Employers reported FMLA compliance was extremely difficult: 32%
  • Challenges:
    • Employers stated “potential for or suspicion of employee abuse” as one of the top 3 challenges in administering FMLA: 69%

The Department of Labor conducted a similar survey in 2012 as well. Below are interesting discoveries thereof:

  • Utilization:
    • Employees eligible for FMLA leave who took it in 2012: 16%
    • Employees not eligible for FMLA leave who took it in 2012: 10%
    • Amount used:
      • Nearly half (42%) of all FMLA-protected leave is <10 days
      • Less than one-fifth (17%) of FMLA-protected leave last >60 days
      • Employees who wanted to take FMLA leave but were unable to: 5%
      • Challenges:
        • Smaller worksites reporting compliance being somewhat difficult: 14%
        • Larger worksites reporting compliance being somewhat difficult: 29%
        • Regardless of size, 30% of worksites reported the cost of complying with FMLA is rising

FMLA 2013 Changes (published February 6, 2013)

  • Employers may define the minimum increment of intermittent FMLA leave as one day, even if the employee is absent for only a matter of hours
  • Additions/Expansions:
    • Parental Care as a category of qualifying exigency leave
    • “Attendance at funeral services” was added to the definition of qualifying post-deployment activities
    • Employees may now take qualifying leave to address issues that arise from the death of a service member
    • Military caregiver leave may now be taken for current service members as well as a “covered” veteran*
      • Employees may now take up to 15 days of rest and recuperation leave equal to that granted to the service member
  • Flight crews:
    • Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they have worked or been paid for >59% of the applicable monthly guarantee
    •  Employees may take 72 days of FMLA leave and 156 days of military caregiver leave per year

As with most aspects of FMLA and the administration thereof, many specific requirements and exclusions must be considered to ensure accurate compliance and avoid putting your organization at risk.

~Compiled and written by Jonathan Eisler, Director of Organizational Services at Perspectives

If administration or liability of FMLA is of concern for you, we can help: either case-by-case or on a capitated basis. For more information, contact Jonathan at 312.636.6609 or

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