• The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), enacted in 1993, guarantees eligible U.S. employees of covered employers the right to take unpaid leave to attend to their own medical issues or those of their family. The DOL Chief Evaluation Office commissioned two new surveys to understand the range of perspectives on FMLA in the United States. The studies will update and expand the evidence about FMLA use and leave-taking that has been generated by three prior "waves" of surveys (1995, 2000, and 2012). This "Wave 4" study will be conducted with 4,000 U.S. employees and 2,000 U.S. private-sector businesses.

Research Questions:

  • What are the primary reasons for employees using FMLA-qualifying leave?
  • What are the patterns of FMLA coverage, awareness, and use among employees, and how are they the same or different across the four survey waves?
  • What are employers’ FMLA policies and practices?
  • What are employers’ administrative and management practices related to FMLA, and how are they similar or different across the four survey waves?

Key Components:

  • Refining survey instruments.
  • Fielding two surveys: (1) A survey of employees that primarily examines leave usage patterns and unmet needs; and (2) A survey of employers that examines their leave policies, as well as their experiences with and perceptions of the FMLA.
  • Analyzing and disseminating survey findings.

Project Duration: 44 Months

Contract End Date: April 2020

Contractor: Abt Associates

For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov