Family Leave Law Tweaks Considered
By George Anderson
No one, publicly at least, is calling for the federal family leave law to be scrapped, but business owners and regulators believe some changes are needed to make it work for employees and employers alike.
Michael Eastman, director of labor policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said, “The problem is the small but significant minority of employees who have figured out how to abuse the regulations. Maybe they have been certified for a medical condition like a bad back or migraine headaches. But when you look at their attendance records, you find they are routinely absent on Friday afternoons.”
Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, is concerned that changes to the regulations will essentially gut the advancements made with its adoption. “My sense is a lot of moms are going to get presents like chocolates and flowers (on Mother’s Day). But if you ask them what they really want, a lot of them would say more time with their family, especially newborns.”
Victoria Lipnic, assistant secretary for employment standards at the Department of Labor, said fears about weakening the family leave regulations are overblown. “No one has suggested in any way that there’s any need for wholesale change,” she said.
Moderator’s Comment: Have Family Leave laws impacted retailers more than other businesses? Are changes needed to the federal statutes? What types of
revisions, to strengthen or weaken the law, would you like to see made? –
George Anderson – Moderator