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Issue Brief

The Effects of FMLA Eligibility and Awareness on Family Leave-Taking

Title
The Effects of FMLA Eligibility and awareness on Family Leave-Taking
Date
January 2017
Market
Workforce Development

Though the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has increased leave-taking among eligible workers, the overall effects of FMLA have been modest. This may be due to high rates of ineligibility within the workforce or lack of awareness of the law's benefits and eligibility requirements. Previous studies show that awareness of the FLMA's benefits has gradually increased since the law's passage in 1993, both for workers at FMLA-covered worksites and workers at non-covered worksites.

This issue brief delves into how awareness of FMLA eligibility impacts leave usage for FMLA-qualifying reasons. Using data from the 2012 Department of Labor (DOL) FMLA Employee Survey, this issue brief examines the effects of FMLA eligibility and awareness on whether workers use leave when faced with significant life events. Because awareness of FMLA eligbility and benefits may change within and across subpopulations of the U.S. workforce, researchers took these differences into account while examining sources that typically inform employees about the FMLA.