Have you applied for family or medical leave?

Alison Brody
Public Insight Network

Twenty years ago today President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law, granting 12 weeks of job protection to workers recovering from an accident, tending to a sick loved one or caring for a new baby.

A 2012 report commissioned by the Department of Labor found that 13 percent of all employees took leave for an FMLA-eligible reason that year. Yet nearly half of workers in the U.S. aren’t covered under the law -- usually because they work part-time or because their employer has less than 50 employees. (Read more about who is and isn't covered in a report from NPR.)

>> Have you ever applied for family or medical leave? Tell us about your experience. If the law doesn't apply to you, we'd like to hear about it, too. Tell us how that has affected your work and family life.


Editor's note (Feb. 8, 2013): The original version of this post included an oft-repeated figure for the number of times FMLA has been used since it was enacted 20 years ago. Despite the figure's pervasiveness online and even on the Senate floor, we haven't been able to confirm its origin. So, instead, we've opted to cite the Department of Labor's latest research on FMLA use as a way to provide context on the policy's prevalence.


Alison Brody Analyst
Public Insight Network

Alison Brody spends her day surrounded by stories from people all across the country. She works with journalists from newsrooms like NPR and The New York Times to help turn these insights into meaningful journalism (i.e., not from a press release or a political speech).

Before joining the PIN team, Alison worked as a PIN analyst at the public radio show Marketplace. For two years she asked questions about credit card debt, employment, unemployment and health insurance. She's also worked at Los Angeles’ public television station, where she helped produce an international news pilot and a digital prototype that was half game, half social network, aimed at teaching students about the U.S. Constitution.