FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate Vote to Correct FMLA for Flight Attendants, Airline Employees Is “Good News, and Long Overdue," Nation's Top Family Leave Expert Says
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C.— November 12, 2009 — "We are delighted that the U.S. Senate voted last night to adopt a technical correction to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that will, for the first time, ensure that flight attendants and other airline employees can take the unpaid leave the law provides. Sixteen years after the FMLA was enacted, this is good news, and long overdue.
Because of the unique nature of their work, airline employees calculate their hours differently, and the FMLA is written in a way that makes it difficult for them to meet the required minimum number of hours worked to be eligible to take leave. Airline Flight Crew Family and Medical Leave Act S. 1422, will close a loophole that has excluded many air crew workers from FMLA protections for too long.
The National Partnership for Women & Families joins with our partners at the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA in celebrating this victory. Making this technical correction is essential to ensuring that this law works for airline employees the way Congress intended. We look forward to Congress finishing its work so President Obama can sign this into law, and America's flight attendants will have the family and medical leave they deserve at long last."
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan 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.