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April 10, 2009
Have the New FMLA Regs Been Helpful?
The answer to the above question is inconclusive at best, according to a survey on and

When asked “Have the new FMLA regs made it easier to handle leave of absence requests/issues?,” 40 percent responded “No” while 22 percent responded “Yes.” The remaining 38 percent indicated that they haven’t had any requests since the new regs took effect on January 16, 2009. Therefore, less than a third of HR professionals who have dealt with leave issues since the regulations took effect believe that they’ve been helpful.

Late last year, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations, which made several changes to FMLA that have given employers headaches over the years. The DOL designed the regs, in part, to improve communication between employers and employees. A few months have now passed since the regs took effect—but it appears that many HR professionals still find the law difficult to navigate, despite the recent changes.

In a March survey on and, HR professionals identified the FMLA as the federal law that gives them the biggest headache—by a wide margin over other federal laws such as COBRA, HIPAA and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The poll included 239 respondents.

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