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Use Of Leave By 50+ Workers For Family And Medical Reasons

By examining the extent to which they take time off from work for medical or family-related reasons, this survey explores the value of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to age 50+ workers, and finds awareness very high with 88 percent saying the protections it provides are personally important.

  • While 58 percent of those surveyed reported taking time off for medical or family needs during the previous five years, 15 percent of the leave-takers (or 9 percent of all respondents) did so through FMLA.
  • Women and those with household incomes under $150,000 were the most likely to perceive FMLA protections as important. 
  • Asked what they might have had to do without FMLA leave, FMLA leave-takers said they would have...
    • quit or lost their jobs (11%)
    • taken less time off (7%)
    • reduced their work schedules or tried to work from home (7%)

This survey of 1,356 age 50+ workers was conducted for AARP by Harris Interactive from January 3rd to 10th, 2007 using its online panel. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report's author, S. Kathi Brown of AARP Knowledge Management/Strategic Issues Research, at 202-434-6296. (34 pages)