2018 Employee and Worksite Perspectives of the Family and Medical Leave Act National Surveys

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.

To gain knowledge of how employees and employers understand and experience FMLA, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) surveyed employees and employers in 1995, 2000, 2012, and 2018. The 2018 surveys consisted of two separate surveys, one for employees and one for worksites. Interviews were conducted by phone and online. The 4,470 employees surveyed were working-age adults employed in the public or private sector in the 12 months prior to the survey. The worksite survey consisted of 2,206 employers, both covered and uncovered by FMLA.

Explore findings from the 2018 surveys broadly in the sets of reports, supplemental results, and various issue briefs listed below, or take a deeper dive into the data with the public use data files. To learn more about the previous wave of surveys visit the 2012 Family and Medical Leave Act Surveys.

The Department of Labor's (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.