Bonamici: Family and Medical Leave Act Should be Expanded

Current Law Covers Only Half of All Americans

February 5, 2013 — Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) today stood with Democratic congressional leaders to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Since it was signed into law in 1993, this landmark legislation has given 100 million Americans the opportunity to take unpaid leave so they could attend to their medical needs or the medical needs of a family member without fear of losing their jobs. Bonamici called for an expansion of the law, and for additional legislation to provide paid sick leave.

“Countless men and women have benefited from the Family and Medical Leave Act, caring for an elderly parent or a sick child, but far too many are still not covered by its protections,” Bonamici said. “Half of Americans don’t qualify for FMLA protections, and millions who do can’t afford to take the unpaid leave it offers. The Family and Medical Leave Act was a big step forward, and now it’s time to build on what was accomplished 20 short years ago.”

Bonamici supports the Healthy Families Act introduced by Rep. DeLauro (D-CT), which would require employers with 15 or more employees to permit each employee to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Bonamici also supports the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, which would expand FMLA coverage to permit leave to care for a domestic partner (including same sex couples), parent-in-law, adult child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent who has a serious health condition.

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