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Assessing the Costs of the Family and Medical Leave Act

Jeffrey A. Eisenach

American Enterprise Institute

February 16, 2007

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA") allows eligible workers employed by covered establishments to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. Employees may become eligible for FMLA leave when either the employee or a family member suffers from a serious health condition. Additional qualifying events include family-related responsibilities, such as the birth or adoption of a child. Various aspects of FMLA, as enforced by the Department of Labor, have become controversial, including specifically the provisions permitting employees to take "intermittent" leave for recurring health conditions. This paper reviews existing evidence on the benefits and costs of FMLA, concluding that the costs are likely much greater than the Department of Labor has acknowledged.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

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Date posted: September 1, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Eisenach, Jeffrey A., Assessing the Costs of the Family and Medical Leave Act (February 16, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1260396 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1260396

Contact Information

Jeffrey A. Eisenach (Contact Author)
American Enterprise Institute ( email )
1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
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