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FAMILY LEAVE ACT DOESN'T SOLVE PROBLEM OF POSSIBLE MASSIVE OVERTIME LIABILITY

 NEW YORK, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Newly published Family and Medical Leave Act rules specify that employers with 50 or more workers must provide up to 12 weeks a year of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for a serious health condition of the employee or immediate family member.
 But Coopers & Lybrand warns that if employers provide any partial- day unpaid leave not specifically covered by the act, they may have to pay all workers -- including managers and executives -- for their overtime hours worked the last two years.
 For example, one New York City engineering firm owes $750,000 in overtime and accrued interest to employees whose annual pay ranges from $40,000 to $70,000 a year. General Dynamics -- the large defense contractor -- has been sued for overtime by 10 current and former managerial employees with similar annual earnings.
 "Employers that are reconfiguring their benefits to take into account the Family and Medical Leave Act requirements should be applauded," said Janet Fuersich, national director of compensation consulting for Coopers & Lybrand's Human Resource Advisory Group. "Instead, because of the seeming contradiction between the purpose of the law and the overtime rules, employers can incur huge liability if they provide any unpaid leave not covered by the act."
 In its new rules, the Labor Department acknowledges that there is a "tension" here. But DOL has no plans to try and relieve it, officials say.
 One of the world's leading professional services firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides services for enterprises in a wide range of industries. Its employee benefits practice ranks among the top ten in the world. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 16,000 professionals and staff in offices located in some 100 U.S. cities and more than 66,000 people in 120 countries worldwide.
 -0- 6/4/93
 /CONTACT: Doris Brown of Coopers & Lybrand, 215-536-2013; or David Fridling of Ruder-Finn, 212-593-6321, for Coopers & Lybrand/


CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: SU:

SH-LR -- NY035 -- 5483 06/04/93 13:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 4, 1993
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