Crackdown on Monday morning blues

A sick woman sneezes

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The Labor Department will publish some changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act today.
Sarah Gardner has more.


Sarah Gardner: The new rules would tighten up the requirements for getting medical leave. Workers claiming a "serious health condition," for example, would have to see a doctor at least twice within 30 days of the illness. Employees would also have to notify bosses in advance before taking time off under the law.

Jason Straczewski at the National Association of Manufacturers says employers understand workers will have emergencies.

Jason Straczewski: However, our experience is that too often, those flare-ups are occurring on Mondays and Fridays or after important events -- around hunting season, or the day after the Super Bowl.

But advocates like Deven McGraw at the National Partnership for Women and Families says some of the changes threaten workers' privacy. She opposes a new rule that would allow bosses to directly contact their employees' doctors.

Deven McGraw: And once the employer's on the phone with the doctor, what's to keep them from asking a whole range of questions that go beyond just merely "is this person seeing you for X condition."

The rule changes are open for public comment for the next 60 days. I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk covering sustainability news spots and features.

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