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FMLA recordkeeping hassles costing businesses big bucks

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Complying with the information-collection requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) costs large- and medium-size employers an average of $825,000 annually, says a recent survey by the Employment Policy Foundation in Washington.

The survey of more than 400 large- and midsize employers attributed the reporting costs to these four factors:

1. The FMLA's broad definition of "serious health condition."

2. The FMLA's provision allowing intermittent leave, which forces some companies to track FMLA leave in increments of just a few minutes.

3. The discrepancy between the two days employers have to respond to a request for FMLA leave and the 15 days allowed for employees to submit medical certifications.

4. The requirement that employers had to provide 12 extra weeks of leave if they didn't officially notify workers that their leave counted as FMLA leave. Note: This risk has evaporated since the recent Supreme Court ruling in Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide Inc., No. 00-6029.

To read the report, visit www.epf.org/commentary/comments/2002/FMLAcomments20020227.pdf.

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