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Expanding Federal Family and Medical Leave Coverage: Who Benefits from Changes in Eligibility Requirements?

Author

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  • Helene Jorgensen
  • Eileen Appelbaum

Abstract

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides job-protected, unpaid leave to employees in firms with 50 or more employees. However, coverage and eligibility restrictions result in 49.3 million employees (44.1 percent) in the private sector being ineligible for leave in 2012. This paper looks at eligibility by demographic characteristics and finds that the probability of being eligible increases with educational attainment. Young men with high school degrees or less had the lowest rate of FMLA eligibility of all the demographic groups. Our analysis of the FMLA Employee and Workplace surveys examines various proposals to expand eligibility coverage. Expanding FMLA coverage to smaller employers and to employees working fewer hours would increase access to job-protected leave for 1.4 million to 8.3 million more employees in the private sector. Women of childbearing age would especially benefit from an expansion in eligibility coverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Helene Jorgensen & Eileen Appelbaum, 2014. "Expanding Federal Family and Medical Leave Coverage: Who Benefits from Changes in Eligibility Requirements?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2014-02, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2014-02
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/fmla-eligibility-2014-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1997. "Policy Watch: The Family and Medical Leave Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 175-186, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:14-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 14-33.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    FMLA; family leave; medical leave;

    JEL classification:

    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • H - Public Economics
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics
    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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