Monthly Labor Review September 2001                                                                                                                                                                                    by Jane Waldfogel


Family and medical leave: evidence from the 2000 surveys

Seven years after the Family and Medical Leave Act, more employees are taking leave for family or medical reasons, and fewer report that they need leave, but are unable to take it; many employers offer leave over and above that required by the Act, and most report no adverse effects on their business

One-sixth of all employees (16.5 percent) took leave for a family or medical reason in the 18 months prior to the 2000 survey, about the same percentage as did in the 1995 survey (16.0 percent). (See table 4.) Leave taking increased significantly between 1995 and 2000 for some demographic groups: older employees (aged 50 to 64), married employees, employees with children, and those with incomes of $50,000 to less than $75,000.

Employees who had never been married were more than twice as likely than married workers to have received no pay during their longest period of leave.




Jane Waldfogel is associate professor of social work and public affairs, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, New York.