The Family and Medical Leave Act has had a huge impact on staffing decisions in American business. The act was meant to give those with medical issues additional time to handle those medical needs as well as care for family members that required additional assistance. The act was put in place in 1993 with good intentions by lawmakers to protect the jobs of workers with legitimate health and family issues (Reilly, Minnick, & Baack, 2012, p. 86). The actual result of the act has been muddied with abusers of the law.
Larger employers are now burdened with workers who have discovered that once qualified for FMLA time they are often given wide leeway by employers regarding taking time off work. When scheduling workers some companies are forced to schedule “an extra 15% of workers on weekdays and an extra 33% of workers on weekends” (Leah, 2008, n.p.). Because FMLA time is not required to be prearranged workers often take sudden weekends off or leave early on Fridays. Extra staffing costs companies large amounts of money just to be sure they have sufficient workers to cover for other workers who decide not to work a shift and write it off to FMLA.
Although there are many legitimate users of FMLA time the act allows for widespread abuse. At least “10 to 12% of people who take FLMA are not doing it legitimately, according to Jim Brown, senior vice president of FMLAsource, an affiliate of ComPsych” (Leah, 2008, n.p.).
Another issue that faces companies regarding staffing is the increased cost of Social Security premiums. When deciding if a new employee can be hired companies must not only count the cost of the wages paid to the employee but also the cost of employer contributions to the Social Security fund. Governmental requirements such as Social Security have a huge impact on the employer’s ability to adequately staff.
Leah, C. S. (2008). I’m on FMLA leave: Benefits pros offer their peers advice on combating FMLA abuse. Employee Benefit News, , n/a. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/214866517?accountid=32521
Reilly, M., Minnick, C., & Baack, D. (2011) The Five Functions of Effective Management. Bridgepoint Education: San Diego.