NAM President and CEO John Engler met with reporters today to discuss business cases before the upcoming October term of the Supreme Court. (We don’t necessarily anticipate any stories from the gathering; while on the record, the briefing mostly served to provide background.) The topic of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the abuses of intermittent leave, which we mentioned earlier today, did come up during a broader discussion of regulations and policy. Here’s what Engler had to say:
When it finally got all said and done, there was no real argument about family leave for birth or adoption. Where it got murky is over in the medical side, and what became ‘chronic conditions,’ and what starts to emerge there and the regulatory construction of that.
We’ve got now a lot of companies that have excessive numbers of migraines on Mondays and Friday as chronic conditions, and with no real way to deal with that. We have others where the chronic condition is sort of congenital lateness in the morning, getting there 30 minutes late, so when the first shift finally clears out and you come in, the parking spots up front are open and it’s easy to park. That kind of stuff happens.
Surely the Department of Labor can develop proposed rules that could introduce some measure of accountability into the process while leaving whole the underlying benefits — unpaid leave for extended illness, birth, adoption or family emergencies .
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