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February 12, 2008
Most HR Pros Share Same #1 FMLA Headache
HR professionals report that unscheduled intermittent leave is the most vexing part of dealing with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), according to a poll.

When asked "What's the most confusing aspect of dealing with FMLA?" 55 percent responded "Unscheduled intermittent leave." Meanwhile, 22 percent responded "What qualifies as a 'serious health condition'" and 19 percent responded "The interplay between FMLA and ADA." Just 5 percent felt that the most confusing aspect of dealing with FMLA was "The medical certification process."

The results are in keeping with the findings of a Department of Labor Request for Information, in which the department sought comments on a series of questions covering intermittent FMLA leave, the definition of "eligible employee" under FMLA, the definition of "serious health condition" under FMLA, leave determinations/medical certifications, and other FMLA topics. In June 2007, the department released a report based on the more than 15,000 comments it received, saying the comments highlight that unscheduled intermittent leave is the single most serious area of friction between employers and workers.

On February 11, the department published a proposal to update its regulations under FMLA. Proposed changes include increased notice obligations for employers so that employees will better understand their FMLA rights, while revising the employee notice rules to minimize workplace disruptions due to unscheduled FMLA absences.

The poll included 272 respondents.

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