GAO's Cost Estimate of the Family and Medical Leave Act Proposal

T-HRD-89-3: Published: Feb 2, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1989.

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GAO discussed proposed family and medical leave legislation. GAO found that: (1) the legislation would provide protection to employees of firms with 20 or more employees while permitting them 10 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new or seriously ill child, or a parent, and 13 weeks of unpaid leave due to their own illness; (2) the estimated annual cost would total $236 million or the cost of continuing health insurance for employees on unpaid leave; and (3) there would be few measurable net employer costs due to firms' adjustment to employees' temporary absences and there would be little impact on compensation negotiations. GAO also found that employers' estimated annual health insurance costs for: (1) leave to care for new children would total about $117 million; (2) leave to care for seriously ill children would total about $11 million; (3) leave to care for seriously ill parents would total about $42 million; and (4) temporary medical leave would total about $66 million.

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