February 5th marks the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The FMLA provides job-protected, unpaid time off for millions of American workers to care for themselves and their families, and has been used over 200 million times since its enactment. Passage of the law was an incredibly important first step, but 40 percent of workers are excluded from the FMLA’s protections. Many more cannot afford to take the unpaid leave it offers. Nearly three decades later, it’s time for the next step: paid leave for all U.S. workers.
On January 28, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on legislative proposals for paid family and medical leave, helmed by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a champion of The FAMILY Act. The FAMILY Act would guarantee U.S. workers 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to welcome a new child, care for a family member with a serious illness or disability, attend to their own serious medical needs, or deal with a loved one’s deployment. The hearing represents a historic step forward for this critical legislation!
Since 2015, we've worked closely with advocates and lawmakers to push for a comprehensive paid family & medical leave program in Tennessee. On Wednesday, we joined State Representative Gloria Johnson in Knoxville to announce the Tennessee Family Insurance Act, a bill to grant paid family and medical leave to all workers in the state. Under this proposal, employees would contribute a small amount each month to a paid family and medical leave insurance fund.
As the year comes to a close, we have many victories to celebrate! In just 2019, our work has had a major impact on millions of women, caregivers, and families.
A measure to guarantee paid parental leave to federal employees has been included in the final National Defense Authorization Act and is expected to pass in both chambers—a huge victory for our nation's 2 million public servants and their families!
Today marks the launch of Paid Leave for All: the largest-ever campaign to win an inclusive federal paid family and medical leave policy. We’re proud to be among the leaders of the Paid Leave for All collaborative—which includes dozens of state and national organizations—and fight for an inclusive paid family and medical leave policy that covers all working people and their families.