FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Work Family Leader "Gravely Concerned" about Announcement of FMLA Regulations
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — January 24, 2008 — "U.S. Department of Labor officials are sending the Office of Management and Budget new regulations on the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) this afternoon. We are gravely concerned that these new regulations will restrict the protections workers have relied on for nearly 15 years protections they need now more than ever, with the economy in trouble and families struggling.
The Bush Administration should do nothing more than make the small adjustment the U.S. Supreme Court made necessary in its ruling in Ragsdale v. Wolverine Worldwide Inc. to clarify the penalty for employers who do not properly designate and notify employees about FMLA leave. There is no need to do anything further to the FMLA, which is working well and has helped tens of millions of people.
At a time when lawmakers are working on a stimulus package to help the economy, it would be absurd for the Administration to restrict the protections workers urgently need.
The Department of Defense Conference Report is on President Bush's desk, awaiting his signature. It includes the first expansion of the FMLA in its near-15-year history, to help our brave injured servicemembers and their families. All Americans need expanded FMLA protections. The Administration and Congress should be expanding this law so more workers can take leave for more reasons, and so those who cannot afford to miss a paycheck can take the leave they need to care for a family member or recover from their own illness."
The National Partnership for Women & Families drafted and led the fight to pass the Family & Medical Leave Act. It 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.