The FMLA is the only federal law specifically targeted to giving workers the job-protected time they need to care for their families. It provides qualified workers with 12 weeks of unpaid leave to recover from their own serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to bond with a new child. Under the regulations released today:
“At the same time we worry about the regulations’ impact on workers, we are delighted that they finally give military families some of the additional support they need and deserve,” Ness added. “The National Partnership fought hard to expand the FMLA to extend unpaid family and medical leave for up to six months for the families of wounded military personnel, and to allow military families to use FMLA leave to help ease the strain of a family member’s deployment. This is the first-ever expansion of the FMLA, but we are confident that it will not be the last.”
Over the last 16 years, workers have used the FMLA more than 100 million times to take the leave they needed without putting their jobs at risk. “There was no reason to restrict it, and no recent scientific study indicated a need to revise a law that has been working well for employers as well as workers,” Ness said. “We ask the new Congress to expand the FMLA so more workers can take leave for more reasons, and so those who can’t afford to miss a paycheck can take the leave they need to care for a family member or recover from illness. The Obama Administration and Congress should waste no time in undoing the damage caused by these regulations, as well as expanding the FMLA and adopting paid leave.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.