There is no law that strikes more fear in the hearts of HR Professionals than FMLA. While most of us agree with the concept of giving time off to employees to care for themselves and their family members, the plethora of forms, constantly evolving regulations and general employee confusion make it almost impossible to manage employee leaves in a smooth and consistent basis. On top of that, California has its own version…which, of course, has to work just a little bit differently.

An article in the newspaper this week reported that 16% of employees utilized FMLA leave last year and most employers said it did not hamper their productivity or profitability. But I am betting that whoever wrote that article didn’t interview the HR staff. The amount of paperwork and tracking needed to administer FMLA leave for 16% of your employees is a huge productivity drain.

The new regulations provide additional leave rights for the families of veterans, which again, sounds like a positive thing. But when one policy about not coming to work takes up four pages of your employee handbook, one has to think there needs to be a way to make it all easier.