Family and Medical Leave in 2012
The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees working for covered employers to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons.
The 2012 study included phone and online surveys with employees and employers (“worksites”). The employee survey used random-digit dial (RDD) with computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to complete 2,852 interviews between February 1 and June 24, 2012. The worksite survey included 1,812 completed interviews conducted by a respondent-selected combination of phone (using CATI) or web between March 12 and June 15, 2012.
Explore findings and datasets from the 2012 surveys below.
- Executive Summary
- Family and Medical Leave in 2012: Technical Report
- Detailed Results Appendix
- Methodology Report
- Methodology Appendices
Public Use Data
Public-use data files are available for the 2012 surveys. The public-use file documentation guide below provides an overview of both surveys’ public-use datasets in SAS and Stata.
- 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?
- Most participating worksites reported not being covered by the FMLA, though more than half of participating employees were eligible for the protections of the FMLA. About 17 percent of participating worksites reported that it was covered by the FMLA. Another 30 percent reported they were unsure.
- About 66 percent of employees who participated in the survey had heard of the FMLA.
- Leave is not uncommon. Thirteen percent of employees who participated in the survey reported they took leave for a qualifying FMLA reason in the previous year. More employees eligible for FMLA (16 percent) who participated in the survey took leave than those who were not eligible (10 percent).
- Employee reports of unmet need for leave were limited. A small proportion of employees who participated in the survey, 5 percent, reported that they needed leave but were unable to take it during the previous year. Rates of unmet need for leave were similar across eligible and ineligible employees who participated in the survey.
- Most covered worksites that participated in the survey and were large enough to have eligible employees reported little difficulty complying with the FMLA.
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