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FMLA 20 Years On: A Disconnect That's Hurting Families

February 5, 2013
This column originally appeared in The Hill's Congress Blog . Today is the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the first bill President Bill Clinton signed into law and the first national law ever to help workers meet the dual demands of work and family. In the two decades since that historic signing, workers in this country have taken FMLA leave more than 100 million times. That’s time that allowed them to manage medical complications during pregnancies, care for new babies, recover from heart attacks, get treatment for cancer, care for parents who had strokes or whose...
Debra Ness's picture

Member Voices: What Ancient Sparta Taught Me About Motherhood

February 5, 2013
Having a baby is not for the faint of heart. We women put our physical safety on the line to be pregnant and deliver a baby -- even American women, who have access to the most highly educated of medical professionals, the most advanced of medical technologies, and the most gleaming of sterile operating rooms. Ectopic pregnancies and preeclampsia are two of the more common potentially deadly side effects of pregnancy, but there are plenty of others: pregnancy-related infection and sepsis , pulmonary and amniotic embolisms , hemorrhage , placenta previa , placental abruption , and postpartum...
Kelly Singleton's picture

MomsRising Celebrates and Looks Forward to Expanding on FMLA with Our Partners

February 5, 2013
Today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. Legislation that has been used an estimated 100 million times – by moms and dads to take care of new babies, by adult children to care for ailing parents, by husbands and wives to care for a spouse with a serious illness, and by workers to recover from their own illnesses. This morning, MomsRising marked the anniversary with a very special delivery to our federal legislators on Capitol Hill. We delivered toy storks and books containing the stories of people who are grateful to have been able to use FMLA, to...
Kristin's picture

United Steelworkers Marks 20 Years of FMLA – Statement and Testimonials

February 5, 2013
“In my current career, I have had the blessing and misfortune to use FMLA twice. Once to bring a child into the world, and once to grieve the loss of my eight-year-old son. I am fortunate that my union contract has expanded the benefit beyond the basic requirement of the law, but that expansion would never have been made if the law was not in place to begin with. The ‘standard’ three-day bereavement leave may be enough to arrange the affairs of an elderly departed parent, but not to deal with the sudden loss of your child. Because of FMLA, I was able to grieve, to be there for my remaining...
Leo W. Gerard's picture

A Battle for My Rights and My Life: Learning About the Family Medical Leave Act and How to Survive

February 5, 2013
Sharing my story hasn't been easy, but I have faced a lot of battles in my life and this is just one more I know I can conquer. My hope is that by telling my story, as painful as it is, I am able to help other cancer patients who have been harassed or wrongfully terminated by their employer and educate them about their rights under the Family Medical Leave Act. My story begins in Virginia, long before I understood what Family Medical Leave was or that I would have to fight for it. I served as an employee at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical, then called Potomac Hospital, from August 2006...
Vivienne Parra's picture

Even the Most Committed Workers Need Sick Leave

February 5, 2013
One year ago, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced a proposed rule change: The Flight Crew FMLA Corrections Act. Since that time, we've witnessed the near completion of this correction that will provide peace of mind and real protections for thousands of families. We celebrate the 20th Anniversary of FMLA, and as a union, look forward to joining the more than 100 million people who have used it to care for their loved ones. As the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing 60,000 Flight Attendants at more than 20 different airlines, I can speak from experience...
Veda Shook's picture

Make FMLA’s Promise Real—Together

February 5, 2013
On Feb. 5, let's celebrate 20 years of The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Since 1993, the FMLA has been used more than 100 million times, helping 35 million people keep their jobs and health insurance while caring for a family health crisis or a new baby. That's truly something to celebrate. But this groundbreaking law didn't just pop into our lives in 1993. A committed community of activists -- women’s groups, union members, faith allies, family advocates and more -- worked together for nine years to win it. That’s the same kind of collective action we need today to make real the FMLA’...
Elizabeth Shuler's picture

Teachers Celebrate FMLA, But Our Work Is Not Yet Done

February 5, 2013
On the Family and Medical Leave Act’s 20th anniversary, it is impossible to overstate the law's value to working families and the dramatic impact it has had on public schools, educators, nurses, public employees and other professionals. Since the FMLA's enactment, more than 50 million workers have been able to take job-protected time off when they need it most: for the care of a newborn, a newly adopted child or a family member who is seriously ill. When a school-age child gets sick, the FMLA allows a parent to keep the child at home so the boy or girl won't infect other students, which in...
Randi Weingarten's picture

Disappointing Court Ruling for Pregnant UPS Employee

January 15, 2013
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals gave pregnant women and advocates a very disappointing decision last week. Peggy Young asked for light duty during her pregnancy, at her doctor’s recommendation. Her employer, UPS, denied her request even though it had a policy of giving light duty to a lot of other workers —such as employees with disabilities and those with on-the-job injuries. She was pushed onto unpaid leave and lost her health insurance. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 says that employers have to treat pregnant workers the same as other employees who are similarly situated in...
Elizabeth Gedmark's picture

See you at the finish line!

January 6, 2013
Nearly 6 years ago, my husband and I decided to live on his income alone so I could stay home and raise our children. We knew there would be sacrifices to live on only one salary, but never did we imagine that my long term financial independence would be put in jeopardy. I'd always had good credit and we shared the household financial responsibilities. However, about a year ago, I found myself in just that position when the CARD Act rules made it impossible for me to get a credit card without my husband's permission. Thanks to the thousands of you who supported my campaign with MomsRising and...
Holly McCall's picture