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Issue Brief

Family and Medical Leave-Taking Among Older Workers

Title
Family and Medical Leave-Taking among Older Workers
Date
January 2017
Author(s)
Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., Dallas Elgin, Ph.D., Ye Zhang, Ph.D., Sandeep Shetty, Ph.D., Jessica Smith, MPP
Market
Workforce Development
Services
Policy/Program Analysis
Applied Research Studies
Methodologies
Cost-benefit Analysis
Simulation
Survey Analysis

Workers who are 55 years old and over are projected to remain the fastest growing segment of working adults in the U.S. through 2022. Health, longevity, education, and attitude are some of the reasons for their continued labor force attachment. In recent years, older workers have also either delayed retirement or re-entered the workforce due to financial losses in the Great Recession.

Older workers face different challenges and responsibilities than their younger counterparts. For example, health impediments are a concern among older workers, as the number of serious medical conditions increases by age.

In this issue brief, we explore the family and medical leave-taking behaviors among older workers age 55 and over, compared to younger workers, using information from DOL’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Employee Surveys of 2000 and 2012.