DENVER — (June 25, 2012) — Last year, employees used 72 million work hours to care for sick family members, according to data published today by Reed Group, the leading expert 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 business impacts are increasing and suggests that employees taking leave to help family members are having a more difficult time returning to work successfully.

The federal FMLA requires employers to allow employees to take unpaid but job-protected leave from their position for certain family medical situations.

These research results, compiled by Reed Group, are derived from its robust internal dataset.

Given the growing impact of employee leaves on businesses, Reed Group built in 2011 the first comprehensive, 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.

“When employees need to take a leave of absence to care for a family member, they turn to their employer for information about their rights and responsibilities,” said Kevin Curry, senior vice president and national practice leader for Reed Group. “It’s imperative that both employers and employees get the most current information about the complex laws and regulations that address leaves. We have built the best online resource available and it is helping businesses better understand and administer these complex and potentially costly federal and state requirements.”

Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor is the leading online reference tool for professionals who need to understand and apply all state and federal leave laws. Only Leave of Absence Advisor offers:

  • All 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia
  • Simple summaries, charts, comprehensive analyses, and side-by-side comparisons
  • Fully cited statutes and case law
  • Robust search functionality that makes finding answers simple
  • A customizable interface that enables users to set up the display to meet their needs

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.

“We recognize that handling FMLA administration can be challenging,” Curry said. “After talking with hundreds of customers on this subject, we drew on our data and leave management expertise to create the ideal tool to help employees and employers alike.”

Leave of Absence Advisor will be demonstrated at booth number 3512 at the Society for Human Resource Management annual meeting June 24-27 in Atlanta. SHRM members can receive an introductory annual subscription to the online service for $199 a year, a $500 discount from the list price. Visit for more information or a personal demonstration.

About Reed Group

For more than 35 years, Reed Group has offered the industry’s most comprehensive references and advice for professionals who need to understand and apply complex federal, state and local leave management and return to work laws. Reed Group advises 30 of the Fortune 100 on absence management, leave laws, disability case management, return-to-work guidelines, ADA compliance and other topics to help their employees and their bottom line. For more information, visit



# # #

Previous To Supervise or Not? – That is the Question: Prescribed Treatment and the FMLA
Next Twenty-Five Years – the FMLA and Beyond