For almost two decades, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has afforded employment protected leave for workers to care for their new-born baby, sick family members, or to recover from their own serious illnesses. It has been reported that since the enactment of FMLA millions of Americans have been able to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave from work. Some assert that FMLA has proven essential to achieving greater employee retention and reducing employee turnover. The Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act (H.R. 2364, S. 1283) would not change the terms of the FMLA, but rather expand its coverage to more family members.
H.R. 2364 amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and title 5, United States Code, to permit leave to care for a domestic partner, parent-in-law, adult child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent who has a serious health condition, and for other purposes. While protections afforded workers under FMLA have helped millions of families, they do not show the many care-taking roles that workers may have, forcing many to choose between employment and responsibility to care for an ill family member. Many assert that all of America’s workers should be afforded the opportunity to fulfill their critically important family and caregiver roles while continuing to contribute to our nation’s economy. This belief led US Congresswoman Maloney to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives and Senator Durbin to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the Senate.
If this is an important issue to you, let your elected officials know about your support of this legislation. Let your voice be heard in Washington, DC. Get involved.
Sources: www.govtrack.us. http://www.opencongress.com. http://www.ifebp.org. Action Alert 9 to 5. www.lawheadlinesandnews.com/hd/index.php? =Family+Act+Leave.consultarehr.com/tag/work-family-balance/. “Bill Would Extend FMLA Benefits and Protections to Additional Family Members”, Washington DC Employment Law Update, Ilyse Schuman, July 1, 2011.
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