From: Marcia Rhodes
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2012 – WorldatWork, a global human resources association, submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division voicing concerns that the draft regulations may create unforeseen challenges for employers’ compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The proposed rules are in response to the passage of the Airline Flight Crews Technical Act and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010. WorldatWork strongly supports the expansion of FMLA protections to these industries.
“WorldatWork is pleased the Department of Labor is seeking comments on these important changes to the FMLA, however we have serious concerns about the scope and real-world implication these proposed regulations could have on employers,” said Cara Woodson Welch, Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs.
WorldatWork has engaged in regular data collection efforts regarding FMLA practices and perspectives during the past decade, including member surveys in 2005, 2008, and 2012. Ninety-five percent of Fortune 500 companies have at least one employee who is a WorldatWork member.
WorldatWork’s primary issue with the proposed regulations concerns the elimination of language allowing for flexibility around the administration of Intermittent or Reduced Schedule Leave for all employees covered by the FMLA.
Based on data around employers’ FMLA practices and perspectives, WorldatWork recommends that the Department not delete the provision from the regulations to ensure employers maintain the flexibility they need to meet their business needs.
WorldatWork is additionally concerned that the proposed changes to the Eligible Employee section of FMLA may create confusion over when FMLA protection is triggered.
“Clarity in regulations such as these is critical for employers and HR professionals who will be responsible for implementing the final rules,” said Welch. “WorldatWork aims to assist the Department of Labor in fine tuning the proposed regulations so that the final rules will be workable for employers and employees.”
A copy of the letter sent to the Department of Labor can be downloaded from here.