A lot of working parents like me and landisdad benefited greatly from the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when our kids were born. It's not just the FMLA itself, it's also the change in our society, that made it more acceptable for men to take paternity leave, but the Act gave men the legal right to take that leave, and I think that's a good thing. If you do too, keep reading. If not, surf on.
The Department of Labor officially announced that it will make changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act, but didn't say when these changes will be released or what they'd look like.
They Want Rollbacks To FMLA
Already, Republican leaders and business groups are making recommendations on rollbacks they'd like to see.
- Ohio Congressman Ralph Regula said that by including illnesses that last three or more days as a "serious health condition," the Dept. of Labor creates "an abuse loophole that will continue to grow."
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants FMLA changed so that workers that need to take intermittent leave to deal with a continuing illness (like doctor's visits for radiation treatment) should be required to take a half-day minimum of leave. As a result, a worker's FLMA leave would get used up faster.
- The National Association of Manufacturers wants the Dept. of Labor to "restore the meaning of the word 'serious' to serious health conditions" — suggesting that FMLA covers too many illnesses.
Last month, more than 200 organizations, including the AFL-CIO, sent a letter to the Department of Labor urging them to provide more solutions to help workers balance work and family — not cut FMLA.
We know the statistics on FMLA: Since the law passed in 1993, more than 50 million working people—half of them men—have been able to take time off to bond with new babies, care for seriously ill family members or recover from their own illnesses. We also know the law doesn't go far enough: The FMLA does not cover all workers, and the leave is unpaid. Three in four workers who needed to take FMLA leave, but did not take it said they couldn't afford to go without a paycheck.
We Want to Hear From You!
Statistics only tell us so much. So, we need your stories! We want to use your stories on FMLA leave to put a personal perspective on the campaign to save FMLA. Members of Congress and the press are always asking us for stories from individuals. (Of course, we'd ask for your permission before they use your name or contact you directly.) Since the Department of Labor could announce their changes to FMLA very soon, we need to start collecting FMLA stories right away!
If you or someone in your family used FMLA leave and would like to share your story with us, please e-mail us back at email@example.com with:
- Why is FMLA important to you?
- Why did you use FMLA leave?
- How long were you away from work on leave?
- What would you have done if you didn't have FMLA leave?
- Your name:
- Your city and state:
- Your union (if applicable):
If you know someone (a friend, neighbor or coworker) who has a story they may want to share with us, please forward this e-mail to them.
At a time when working women are stretched thin trying to make ends meet, we need laws to expand family and medical leave, not make it more difficult for us to balance work and family.
Working Women, AFL-CIO
• Posted By landismom @ 6/07/2005 03:58:00 PM • • •