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Expanding Family and Medical Leave to Small Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Helene Jorgensen
  • Eileen Appelbaum

Abstract

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) gives eligible employees the right to take job-protected, unpaid leave to bond with a new child, care for a family member or military service member, or for one’s own serious illness for up to 12 weeks in a year. About 60 million private sector employees (55.9 percent) were eligible for family and medical leave under the FMLA in 2012. However, more than two-in-five private sector employees do not have access to job-protected leave because they are employed by small employers, which are exempt from the FMLA, and/or because they do not meet the tenure and hours worked requirements for eligibility. If the FMLA were amended to cover all firms and worksites regardless of size, an estimated 34.1 million private-sector employees would gain access to job-protected family and medical leave, if they otherwise meet the eligibility requirements relating to length of tenure and hours of work.

Suggested Citation

  • Helene Jorgensen & Eileen Appelbaum, 2014. "Expanding Family and Medical Leave to Small Firms," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2014-06, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2014-06
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/fmla-eligibility-2014-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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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