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Ruth Martin's picture

Outrageous and unacceptable!  As early as this week legislators in Madison are poised to strip benefits from the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WIFMLA) and turn back the clock to a less family-friendly time.

This would mean that among other things, many part time workers would no longer be eligible for state FMLA benefits and caregivers would have less flexibility when it comes to using family medical leave.

Send a message to your state elected officials: Don’t turn back the clock on family-friendly policies in Wisconsin. Don’t undermine the WI Family Medical Leave Act! Click here:

In 1988 Wisconsin was one of the first states to pass a Family Medical Leave Act and its protections are stronger than those at the federal level. But now business lobbyists and the new legislative majority want to strip the provisions of the state FMLA that are more generous than the federal law including:

  • Eligibility: Under Wisconsin FMLA, you are eligible for FMLA leave after working 1,000 hours in the preceding year; Federal FMLA requires 1250 hours. That means part-time workers who work only 20 hours a week (rather than 25 hours or more) are covered under WI FMLA, but not under federal - and would not be under this new bill.
  • Substitution of Accrued Paid Time: Under Wisconsin FMLA, the EMPLOYEE chooses whether to substitute accrued paid leave of any type for unpaid leave under the WIFMLA. That means if you have paid sick time, you can use it to take an aging parent or someone with a chronic condition for treatment. Fathers or adoptive parents can use that time to care for a new child. Federal FMLA allows the EMPLOYERto decide whether or not you can do this. Under state FMLA, you may choose to use your vacation time for caregiving, but you don't have to. Under federal FMLA, the employer can REQUIRE you to use up all your vacation if you take FMLA.
  • Intermittent leave: Under Wisconsin FMLA, you can take intermittent leave for all family and medical leaves in increments equal to the shortest increment permitted by the employer for any other non-emergency leave. Federal FMLA permits intermittent leave only for serious health condition leaves, not for birth or adoption unless the employer agrees.

We want to keep these provisions!

It is flat out unacceptable that legislators want to take away benefits from hard working Wisconsin families, especially now in these tough economic times. 

Don’t let WI legislators turn back the clock on family-friendly policies! Tell your elected officials: Hands off the WI Family Medical Leave Act!

*Please  use the "Share the Knowledge!" links at the bottom of this post to pass this message on to at least three of your WI friends and family members so they can take action too!

Together we’re a powerful force for women and families!

P.S. Have an experience to share about how paid leave, or the lack of it, has impacted your family? Let us know! Your stories and voices are powerful tools in the campaign to pass family-friendly policies across the country! We’re compiling stories to share with elected leaders across the country to show why families need paid family leave.

P.P.S Big thanks to our partners at Milwaukee 9to5 for their work on this issue!

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