December 18, 2000

This report presents results on family and medical leave policies and practices from two new surveys of employees and employers. These surveys, conducted by Westat in the summer and early fall of 2000, were commissioned by the Department of Labor to update the employee and employer surveys that were conducted five years ago, in the summer and fall of 1995. The 2000 surveys offer researchers and policymakers a wealth of new information on workers' use of family and medical leave, the policies and practices of employers, and what impact such leave has on both employers and workers. The report, "Balancing the Needs of Families and Employers," offers a first look at these survey data. It presents the important findings and compares them to the previous surveys, while pointing out areas where additional exploration of the data will be needed to answer questions on why certain changes occurred.

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