OSEC Notices

Proposed Information Collection Request (ICR) for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Employee and Employer Surveys; Comment Request   [4/1/2011]
FR Doc 2011-7345
[Federal Register: April 1, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 63)]
[Page 18254-18255]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 18254]]



Proposed Information Collection Request (ICR) for the Family 
Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Employee and Employer Surveys; Comment Request

AGENCY: Wage and Hour Division, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (Department or DOL), as part of its 
continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a 
preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and 
Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or 
continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program 
helps to ensure that required data can be provided in the desired 
format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, 
collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of 
collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. The 
Department is soliciting comments concerning its proposal to collect 
information on employees' and employers' experience with family and 
medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. A copy of the 
proposed ICR can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in 
the addressee section of this notice.

DATES: Written comments must be received by the office listed in the 
addressee section below on or before May 31, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by [RIN or some other 
identifier] by either one of the following methods: E-mail 
WHDPRAComments@dol.gov; Mail, Hand Delivery, Courier: Division of 
Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour, U.S. 
Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210.
    Instructions: Please submit one copy of your comments by only one 
method. All submissions received must include the agency name and [RIN 
or some other identifier] identified above for this information 
collection. Because we continue to experience delays in receiving mail 
in the Washington, DC area, commenters are strongly encouraged to 
transmit their comments electronically via e-mail or to submit them by 
mail early. Comments, including any personal information provided, 
become a matter of public record. They will be summarized and/or 
included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Ziegler, Director, Division of 
Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour, U.S. 
Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-0406 (this is not a toll free 
number). Copies of this notice may be obtained in alternative formats 
(Large print, Braille, Audio Tape, or Disc), upon request by calling 
(202) 693-0023 (this is not a toll-free number). TTY/TTD callers may 
dial toll-free (877) 889-5627 to obtain information or to request 
materials in alternative formats.

    I. Background: Given changes in economic conditions and the Family 
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations since the 2000 employee and 
employer surveys, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. 
Department of Labor needs to collect new information on the use and 
need of FMLA leave in order to update DOL's understanding of leave-
taking behavior and to close current data gaps remaining from the 
previous surveys. To better understand both employees' and employers' 
experience with FMLA, two new surveys will be conducted to collect 
information about the need for and the experience with family and 
medical leave from employees' and employers' perspectives. This study 
will help the Department by providing information on current workplace 
policies and practices related to family and medical leave. An in-depth 
analysis of private sector FMLA policies allows WHD to determine how 
those policies affect the work-life balance of workers and the 
productivity and work flow of employers. The study enables DOL to shape 
future regulatory options, craft interpretive guidance (such as plain-
language fact sheets), develop compliance programs (employer outreach 
and investigation policies), and establish regulatory priorities based 
on sound, current data rather than on outdated data or anecdotal 
information. Finally, the study provides a data set by which DOL can 
evaluate the effect on employer compliance of a range of FMLA 
activities--regulatory, educational, investigative, and legal--on 
employer compliance.
    Two previous FMLA surveys have been conducted. The first FMLA 
study, in which workers and employers were surveyed to learn about 
family and medical leave policies and their effect on workers and their 
employers, was conducted in 1995 by the bipartisan Commission on Family 
and Medical Leave. The final report on this survey, titled ``A Workable 
Balance: Report to Congress on Family and Medical Leave Policies,'' is 
available online at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/1995Report/family.htm. 
The second study was conducted in 2000 by Westat at the request of the 
Department. The Westat study updated the 1995 data by administering 
employee and employer surveys similar to the 1995 surveys. The second 
study entitled ``Balancing the Needs of Families and Employers: Family 
and Medical Leave Surveys, 2000 Update'' is available on the 
Department's website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/toc.htm. An 
additional source of information came from the Department's Request for 
Information (RFI) issued on December 1, 2006. The RFI asked the public 
to comment on their experiences with, and observations of, the 
Department's administration of the law and the effectiveness of the 
regulations. The qualitative data obtained provided a detailed 
anecdotal picture of the workings of the FMLA.
    The period for conducting this study is expected to last no later 
than January 14, 2012.
    II. Desired Focus of Comments: Currently, the Department of Labor 
is soliciting comments concerning the above data collection for the 
FMLA Employee and Employer Surveys. Comments are requested which:

* Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary 
for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether the information will have practical utility;
* Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
* Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 
collected; and
* Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to 
respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms 
of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of 

    III. Current Actions: At this time, the Department is requesting 
clearance for an employer and employee survey focusing on the Family 
Medical Leave Act of 1993.

[[Page 18255]]

    Type of review: New information collection request.
    OMB Number: None.
    Affected Public: Private sector, public sector, individuals, and 
    For the FMLA Employee survey:
    Frequency: Once.
    Total Responses: 3,000 respondents.
    Average Time per Response: 26 minutes.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,292 hours.
    Total Burden Cost: $0.
    For the FMLA Employer Survey:
    Frequency: Once.
    Total Responses: 1800 firms.
    Average Time per Response: 36 minutes.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 2164 hours.
    Total Burden Cost: $0.
    Note that, due to rounding, the numbers for the totals may differ 
from the sum of the component numbers.
    Comments submitted in response to this request will be summarized 
and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget 
approval; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 23rd day of March 2011.
Mary Ziegler,
Director, Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation.
[FR Doc. 2011-7345 Filed 3-28-11; 8:45 am]