DoL Announces Family Leave Projects

July 20, 2010 ( – The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) plans several initiatives next year to help gather more information about employers’ family leave policies and how workers use leave to deal with family issues.

DoL Secretary Hilda L. Solis announced in a news release that the agency’s Wage and Hour Division will conduct a Family and Medical Leave Act survey in 2011 to provide a baseline data collection of current family workplace policies and practices, as well as information on regulatory changes. 

Solis said the DoL’s Women’s Bureau will sponsor a supplement to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey in 2011 to gather more information on parental leave, child care, family leave insurance program usage, and other work/family issues. The Women’s Bureau will also host a series of “National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility” forums across the country.  

Further, Solis said, the DoL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Department of Justice, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will help promote strategic enforcement of pay discrimination cases with the hiring of nearly 200 additional enforcement staff.  

The Women’s Bureau will also launch new public education efforts including an Equal Pay Checklist, a revamped Equal Pay Employer Self-Audit tool, and an Equal Pay Research Summit. 

“In addition to closing the gender pay gap, we must also increase workplace flexibility,” Solis said in the announcement. “America’s families have evolved, so helping parents and other caregivers keep their jobs while balancing their responsibilities in the home is key to our long-term economic success.”