Objective: The objective of our study was to assess utilization of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in radiology practices in 2016 and compare with 2015 utilization.
Materials and methods: The Practice of Radiology Environment Database was used to identify practice leaders, and these leaders were asked to complete the annual American College of Radiology Commission on Human Resources workforce survey. The 2017 survey, which asked about 2016 experiences, again included questions about the number of radiologists in each practice who took FMLA, reasons why, and how absences were covered.
Results: Twenty-six percent (477/1811) of practice leaders responded to the survey. Of these respondents, 73% (346/477) answered FMLA questions, and 23% (80/346) of those answered affirmatively that a radiologist in their practice had taken FMLA leave in 2016 (previously 15% in 2015; p = 0.15). The reasons for FMLA leave included taking care of a newborn or adopted child (57%, previously 49%; p = 0.26), personal serious health condition (35%, previously 42%; p = 0.31), caring for an immediate family member (8%, unchanged), and engaging in active military duty (< 1%, unchanged). Although more women (72%) than men (32%) took FMLA leave for the first reason (p < 0.01), more men (63%) than women (18%) took FMLA leave for the second (p < 0.01), and there was no significant difference between women (10%) and men (5%) taking leave to care for an immediate family member (p = 0.18). Most practices (80%) again made no workforce changes to cover absences due to FMLA leave (previously 82%).
Conclusion: Utilization of FMLA leave in radiology practices in 2016 was similar to that in 2015 and represents the beginning of longitudinal accrual of data on this important topic for both male and female radiologists.
Keywords: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); caregiver leave; parental leave; personal serious health condition.