Skip to page content
Wage and Hour Division
Bookmark and Share

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Chapter 4

Impact of Family and Medical Leave on Employees

Table 4.1. Leave-Taker Worries About Taking Leave: 2000 Survey

Worries About Taking Leave: Worried job might be lost
Percent of Leave-Takers: 26.9%

Worries About Taking Leave: Worried leave might hurt job advancement
Percent of Leave-Takers: 26.2%

Worries About Taking Leave: Worried seniority would be lost
Percent of Leave-Takers: 12.9%

Worries About Taking Leave: Worried about not having enough money for bills
Percent of Leave-Takers: 53.8%

Worries About Taking Leave: Worried for some other reason
Percent of Leave-Takers: 13.2%

Note: Percentages do not sum to 100% because respondents could report more than one effect on health.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.2. Ease of Getting Time Off: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

How easy or difficult was it for you to get your employer to let you take time off?: Very easy**
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 65.0%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 59.6%

How easy or difficult was it for you to get your employer to let you take time off?: Somewhat easy
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 16.3%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 18.2%

How easy or difficult was it for you to get your employer to let you take time off?: Neither easy nor difficult
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 6.7%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 8.2%

How easy or difficult was it for you to get your employer to let you take time off?: Somewhat difficult
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 6.7%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 9.2%

How easy or difficult was it for you to get your employer to let you take time off?: Very difficult
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 5.4%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 4.8%

** Difference between 1995 and 2000 is significant at p<.05.
Note: Column percents may not total to 100% due to rounding.
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Figure 4.1. Benefit Status During Longest Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys (Percent of Leave-Takers)

Lost Benefits* 1995 Survey: 8.9%
Lost Benefits* 2000 Survey: 6.5%

Kept Benefits* 1995 Survey: 91.1%
Kept Benefits* 2000 Survey: 93.5%

* Difference between years is significant at part p<.10.


Table 4.3. Benefits Lost During Longest Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Health Insurance
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 2.9%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 2.0%

Life insurance
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 1.0%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: --

Disability insurance
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 0.8%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: --

Pension contributions
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 1.1%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 0.8%

Other
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 5.9%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 5.1%

-- Indicates less than 10 unweighted cases.
Note: Respondents could report more than one benefit was lost. Source:
1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.4. Receipt of Pay During Longest Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Received at least some pay during their longest leave
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 66.4%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 65.8%

Received no pay during longest leave
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 33.6%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 34.2%

Note: The data in this table is based on differently worded questions used in the 1995 and 2000 surveys. In 1995, the question asked was: "Was the leave fully paid, unpaid, or partially paid?" In 2000, the question was: "Did you receive pay for any part of your (longest) leave?"
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.5. Source of Pay During Longest Leave: 2000 Survey

Sick leave
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 61.4%

Vacation leave
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 39.4%

Personal leave
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 25.7%

Parental leave
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 7.7%

Temporary disability insurance
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 18.0%

Other benefits
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 11.4%

Number of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave(1): 15,620,658

(1) Percentages do not sum to 100% because respondents could report more than one source of pay.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.6. Full versus Partial Pay Across the Leave Period: 2000 Survey

Paid for entire leave period at full pay
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave: 72.2%

Paid for entire leave period at partial pay
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave: 21.6%

Paid for part of the leave period at full pay
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave: 2.6%

Paid for part of the leave period at partial pay
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Pay During Longest Leave: 3.6%

Note: Column percents may not total to 100% due to rounding.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.7. Proportion of Usual Pay Received by Leave-Takers Receiving Only Partial Pay: 2000 Survey

Proportion of Usual Pay Received While on Leave: Less than half
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Partial Pay During Longest Leave: 31.1%

Proportion of Usual Pay Received While on Leave: About half
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Partial Pay During Longest Leave: 25.0%

Proportion of Usual Pay Received While on Leave: More than half
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Partial Pay During Longest Leave: 43.9%

Number of Leave-Takers Receiving Partial Pay: 4,401,295

Note: Column percents may not total to 100% due to rounding.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Figure 4.2. Ease of Making Ends Meet During Leave: 2000 Survey (Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less than Full Pay During Longest Leave)

Ease of Making Ends Meet During Leave: Very Easy 13.5%
Ease of Making Ends Meet During Leave: Somewhat Easy 13.8%
Ease of Making Ends Meet During Leave: Neither Easy / nor Difficult 14.5%
Ease of Making Ends Meet During Leave: Somewhat Difficult 35.7%
Ease of Making Ends Meet During Leave: Very Difficult 22.5%


Table 4.8. How Lost Wages were Covered During Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Use savings earmarked for this situation
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 43.7%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 47.0%

Use savings earmarked for something else
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 40.6%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 35.6%

Borrow money
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 25.1%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 29.0%

Go on public assistance
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 8.9%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 8.7%

Limit extras*
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 75.4%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 70.1%

Put off paying bills
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 38.7%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000Survey: 38.5%

Cut leave time short
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 40.3%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 37.0%

Did something else
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 1995 Survey: 13.0%
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave 2000 Survey: 9.7%

Note: Percentages do not sum to 100% because respondents could report more than one method of covering lost wages.
* Difference between 1995 and 2000 is significant at p<.10.
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.9. Perceived Impact of Pay on Length of Leave: 2000 Survey

Perceived Impact of Pay: Would have taken leave for a longer period if some/additional pay had been received
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave: 50.9%

Perceived Impact of Pay: Would not have taken leave for a longer period if some/additional pay had been received
Percent of Leave-Takers Receiving Less Than Full Pay During Longest Leave: 49.1%

Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.10. Effects of Using Family and Medical Leave: 2000 Survey

Ability to Care for Family Members(1): Positive effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 78.7%
Ability to Care for Family Members(1): No effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 21.3%

Ability to Select a Satisfactory Childcare Provider(2): Positive effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 40.4%
Ability to Select a Satisfactory Childcare Provider(2): No effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 59.6%

Ability to Select a Satisfactory Caretaker for Sick Family Member(3): Positive effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 47.9%
Ability to Select a Satisfactory Caretaker for Sick Family Member(3): No effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 52.1%

Leave-Taker's or Family Member's Physical Health: Positive effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 63.0%
Leave-Taker's or Family Member's Physical Health: No effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 37.0%

Leave-Taker's or Family Member's Emotional Well-Being: Positive effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 70.1%
Leave-Taker's or Family Member's Emotional Well-Being: No effect
Percent of Leave-Takers: 29.9%

(1) Percentages based on persons taking leave to care for newborn, newly adopted or new foster child, or an ill family member (either a child, spouse, or parent).
(2) Percentages based on persons taking leave for a newborn, or a newly adopted or new foster child.
(3) Percentages based on persons taking leave to care for an ill family member (either child, spouse, or parent).
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.11. Positive Outcomes of Effects of Using Family and Medical Leave: 2000 Survey

Effect on Employee's or Family Member's Physical Health: Quicker recovery time
Percent of Leave-Takers Stating that Leave Had a Positive Effect on Physical Health: 83.7%

Effect on Employee's or Family Member's Physical Health: Easier to comply with doctor's instructions
Percent of Leave-Takers Stating that Leave Had a Positive Effect on Physical Health: 93.5%

Effect on Employee's or Family Member's Physical Health: Delayed/avoided need to enter nursing home or other long-term care facility
Percent of Leave-Takers Stating that Leave Had a Positive Effect on Physical Health: 32.0%

Effect on Employee's or Family Member's Physical Health: Other effects
Percent of Leave-Takers Stating that Leave Had a Positive Effect on Physical Health: 17.0%

Number of Leave-Takers Stating that Leave had a Positive Effect on Physical Health: 14,513,291

(1) Percentages do not sum to 100% because respondents could report more than one effect on health.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.12. Returning to Work after Longest Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Returned to work for the same employer
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 93.8%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 94.4%

Went to work for a new employer*
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 3.1%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 1.9%

Did not return to work at all
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 3.0%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 3.8%

Number of Leave-Takers (1)
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 18,288,293
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 21,043,859

* Difference between 1995 and 2000 is significant at p<.10.
Note: Column percents may not total to 100% due to rounding.
(1) This number excludes leave-takers who were on leave at the time of their interview (approximately 10 percent of leave-takers in 1995 and 12% in 2000).
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.13. Position Returned to After Longest Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Same or equal position
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 96.8%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 97.1%

Higher position
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 1.3%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 1.1%

Lower position
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 1.8%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 1.8%

Number of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 17,156,285
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer 1995 Survey: 19,859,091

Note: Column percents may not total to 100% due to rounding.
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.14. Reasons for Leave-takers' Return to Work: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

No longer needed to be on leave
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 74.1%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 77.1%

Could not afford to take more time off
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 46.7%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 50.4%

Just wanted to get back to work**
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 55.3%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 66.1%

Used up all the leave time allowed**
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 21.8%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 33.7%

Felt pressure by boss/co-workers to return
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 22.7%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 24.2%

Had too much work to do
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 32.5%
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 30.1%

Someone else took over care
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: NA
Percent of Leave-Takers Returning to Same Employer(1) 1995 Survey: 23.6%

(1) Percentages do not sum to 100% because respondents could report more than one reason for returning to work.
NA Indicates item not asked in 1995 survey.
** Difference between 1995 and 2000 is significant at p<.05.
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Figure 4.3. Satisfaction with the Length of the Longest Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys (Percent of Leave-Takers)

Satisfied With Leave 1995 Survey: 48.2%
Satisfied With Leave 2000 Survey: 42.2%

Somewhat Satisfied With Leave 1995 Survey: 27.9%
Somewhat Satisfied With Leave 2000 Survey: 30.4%

Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied With Leave 1995 Survey: 6.5%
Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied With Leave 2000 Survey: 8.7%

Somewhat Dissatisfied With Leave 1995 Survey: 11.9%
Somewhat Dissatisfied With Leave 2000 Survey: 12.5%

Very Dissatisfied With Leave 1995 Survey: 5.6%
Very Dissatisfied With Leave 2000 Survey: 6.2%


Table 4.15. Leave-Takers Denied Leave: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Denied leave
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 6.6%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 6.2%

Not denied leave
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 93.4%
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 93.8%

Number of Leave-Takers
Percent of Leave-Takers 1995 Survey: 20,359,640
Percent of Leave-Takers 2000 Survey: 23,830,305

Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.16. Coverage and Eligibility Among Female and Male Employees with Young Children: 2000 Survey

Number of Employees with Young Children
Percent Females: 4,146,171
Percent Males: 5,524,516
Percent All: 9,670,687

Employees at FMLA-covered worksites
Percent Females: 74.5%
Percent Males: 75.0%
Percent All: 74.8%

Eligible employees at FMLA-covered worksites
Percent Females: 56.3%
Percent Males: 66.7%
Percent All: 62.2%

Employees at worksites not covered by FMLA
Percent Females: 25.5%
Percent Males: 25.0%
Percent All: 25.2%

Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.17. Leaves Taken and Needed Among Female and Male Employees with Young Children: 2000 Survey

Percent taking leave (for a covered reason) since January 1, 1999
Percent Females** : 75.8%
Percent Males: 45.1%
Percent All: 58.2%

Percent needing, but not taking, leave (for a covered reason) since January 1, 1999
Percent Females** : --
Percent Males: 3.8%
Percent All: 3.1%

Percent not taking or needing leave
Percent Females** : 22.0%
Percent Males: 51.1%
Percent All: 38.6%

** Difference between males and females is significant at p<.05.
-- Indicates less than 10 unweighted cases.
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.18. Reasons for Taking Leave, Across All Leaves Taken, by Females and Males with Young Children: 2000 Survey

Reason for Leave: Own health
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Females: 20.2%
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Males: 20.2%
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent All: 20.2%

Reason for Leave: Maternity-disability
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Females: 42.8%
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Males: &
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent All: 23.9%

Reason for Leave: Care for a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed foster child **
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Females: 47.2%
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Males: 75.6%
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent All: 59.7%

Reason for Leave: Care for ill child
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Females: --
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Males: --
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent All: 3.5%

Reason for Leave: Care for ill spouse
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Females: &
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Males: --
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent All: --

Reason for Leave: Care for ill parent
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Females: --
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent Males: --
Percent of Leave-Takers with Young Children Percent All: --

** Difference between males and females is significant at p<.05.
-- Indicates less than 10 unweighted cases. & Indicates that no significance test was conducted because of zero cell.
Note: Percentages sum to more than 100% due to some persons taking more than one leave.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.19. Reasons for Taking Leave, Across All Leaves Taken, Based on Total Population of Female and Male Employees with Young Children: 2000 Survey

Reason for Leave: Own health
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Females: 15.3%
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Males: 9.1%
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent All: 11.8%

Reason for Leave: Maternity-disability
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Females: 32.4%
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Males: &
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent All: 13.9%

Reason for Leave: Care for a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Females: 35.8%
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Males: 34.1%
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent All: 34.8%

Reason for Leave: Care for ill child
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Females: --
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Males: --
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent All: 2.0%

Reason for Leave: Care for ill spouse
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Females: &
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Males: --
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent All: --

Reason for Leave: Care for ill parent
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Females: --
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent Males : --
Percent of All Employees with Young Children Percent All: --

-- Indicates less than 10 unweighted cases.
& Indicates that no significance test was conducted because of zero cell.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.20. Employees' Opinions Toward FMLA: 1995 and 2000 Surveys

Opinion Measure: Every person should be able to have up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year from work for family and medical problems.
Agree** 1995 Survey: 72.3%
Agree** 2000 Survey: 81.4%
Disagree** 1995 Survey: 27.7%
Disagree** 2000 Survey: 18.6%

Opinion Measure: Having to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year for family and medical problems is an unfair burden to employees' co-workers.
Agree** 1995 Survey: 43.8%
Agree** 2000 Survey: 36.1%
Disagree** 1995 Survey: 56.2%
Disagree** 2000 Survey: 63.9%

** Difference between 1995 and 2000 is significant at p<.05.
Source: 1995 and 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.21. Co-workers Taking Leave for Family or Medical Reasons: 2000 Survey

Co-workers had taken leave for family or medical reasons since January 1, 1999
Percent of Employees: 63.0%

Did not have co-workers take leave for family or medical reasons since January 1, 1999
Percent of Employees: 37.0%

Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.22. Effects of Co-workers Taking Leave on Employees: 2000 Survey

Effect: Worked more hours than usual
Percent of Employees Having Co-workers Take Leave: 32.1%

Effect: Worked a shift not normally worked
Percent of Employees Having Co-workers Take Leave: 22.9%

Effect: Took on additional duties
Percent of Employees Having Co-workers Take Leave: 46.2%

Note: Percentages do not sum to 100% because respondents could report more than one effect.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.


Table 4.23. Perceived Impact of Co-workers Taking Leave on Employees: 2000 Survey

Perceived Impact: Employees who felt that co-workers taking leave had a positive impact on them
Percent of Employees Reporting that Co-workers' Leave Had an Effect: 17.4%

Perceived Impact: Employees who felt that co-workers taking leave had a negative impact on them
Percent of Employees Reporting that Co-workers' Leave Had an Effect: 15.1%

Perceived Impact: Employees who felt that co-workers taking leave had neither a positive or negative impact on them
Percent of Employees Reporting that Co-workers' Leave Had an Effect: 67.4%

Note: Column percents may not total to 100% due to rounding.
Source: 2000 Survey of Employees.