— Posts About Family and Medical Leave Act

DOL Expands FMLA to Cover Non-Traditional Families

The federal Department of Labor issued some important guidance regarding the coverage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as it applies to all sorts of unconventional families. The DOL made clear that FMLA rights to get time off to care for children do not require a biological relationship with the child. Rather, anyone who has assumed the role of parent (for example a non-married step-parent, grandparent, or same-sex partner) is entitled to FMLA leave to care for the child.  Continue for highlights from the guidance: Read more…

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Op-Ed Calling for Paid Maternity and Family Leave

An op-ed in the Washington Post calls for paid family and maternity leave because the 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is grossly inadequate.  Sharon Lerner traces the history of legislative efforts to provide paid leave to support workers’ families, the compromised law that is the FMLA, and the pernicious effects of inadequate paid leave.  The need for reform is stark:

When it comes to paid maternity leave, the United States is in the postpartum dark ages.  One hundred and seventy-seven nations — including Djibouti, Haiti and Afghanistan — have laws on the books requiring that all women, and in some cases men, receive both income and job-protected time off after the birth of a child. But here, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides only unpaid leave, and most working mothers don’t get to stay home with their newborns for the 12 weeks allowed by the law. Many aren’t covered by the FMLA; others can’t afford to take unpaid time off. Some go back to work a few weeks after giving birth, and some go back after mere days.

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President Signs Expansion of FMLA for Military Families

Last week, President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an appropriations bill that includes an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for military families.  Specifically, it broadens the scope of caregiver and exigency leave for military families.  Details should be available from the Department of Labor in short order.

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Study Shows that Unions Help Make Family-Friendly Workplaces

Family-Friendly Workplaces: Do Unions Make a Difference?, written by Jennifer MacGillvary of the Labor Center at the University of California-Berkeley and Netsy Firestein of the Labor Project for Working Families, concludes the unions lead to workplaces that, through policy and practice, promote a healthy and viable balance between work life and home life.   Significantly, the study finds that unions increase compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, ensure paid sick leave for employees and their children, and increase the likelihood that health care is covered for families.

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