Expect to See Longer Leaves of Absence

Last year, employees used 72 million work hours to care for sick family members, according to data published today by Reed Group, a firm with expertise in leave management and return to work management. In addition, the number of workdays missed under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has grown 38 percent since 2009, Reed Group reports. These trends confirm that the business impact of leave is increasing, and it suggests that employees taking leave to help family members are having a more difficult time returning to work successfully.

Given the growing impact of employee leaves on businesses, Reed Group built the a searchable online reference tool for professionals who need to understand and apply complex federal, state and local leave laws. The new online tool, named Leave of Absence Advisor, was released this spring.

Failing to understand and apply the myriad of complex regulations correctly can be costly to employers. Based on 2011 data, Reed Group estimates that the average cost of losing an FMLA claim at trial is $506,000.

The Leave of Absence Advisor covers all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. It offers simple summaries, charts, comprehensive analyses, and side-by-side comparisons, fully cited statutes and case law. search functionality, and a customizable interface that enables users to set up the display to meet their needs.