The DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics just released data from a survey regarding leaves of absence.
You can read the full press release about the survey here.
Here's the summary.
In 2011, 90 percent of wage and salary workers had access to paid or unpaid leave at their main jobs, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-one percent of wage and salary workers took
paid or unpaid leave during an average week. Workers who took leave during an average week took an average of 15.6 hours of leave. Fifty-six percent of wage and salary workers were able to adjust their work schedules or location instead of taking leave or because they did not have access to leave in 2011. Seven percent of workers made such an adjustment in an average week.
End of summary. Begin my annoyed rant.
Let's read it again: 1/5 of workers take leave in an average week. 20% of people cannot report to work in a given week. Yes, there are some people who need leave. But the system is abused.