Where Family Leave Can't Get In The Door

COMPLIANCE WITH NEW family leave rules is going slowly, especially for small business. Some 40% of all businesses did not measure up to at least one of four major provisions, according to a report in the California Management Review by Andrew E. Scharlach and Stephanie L. Sansom of the University of California at Berkeley and Janice Stanger of William M. Mercer Inc.

The Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave for such things as childbirth or family illness. Companies must also continue health-care coverage and give employees their old jobs back. The authors say small business may be slow to comply because such matters are handled informally. Violators can be fined.