|Bush Administration Targets Family Medical Leave Act|
With only two months left in office, the Bush Administration is rolling back protections for which AAUW fought for more than a decade to enact. This week, the Department of Labor released regulations that will make it harder for most workers to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. These regulations will take effect January 16, 2009-just four days before President Bush leaves office-but you can act now by urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make expanding FMLA a priority in the 111th Congress.
Since the FMLA was enacted in 1993, millions of workers have been able to take unpaid leave to care for their families and themselves without the fear of losing their job. While the new regulations contain a few good provisions for military families, they make it harder for most workers to reap the benefit of this act. Workers will have less time to give notice of their need for leave, while at the same time, they will need to fulfill increased requirements for requesting leave. Workers will have a tougher time using paid leave in conjunction with FMLA leave, leaving many workers unable to afford to take leave at all. In addition, employers will have greater access to health information on workers and their families, jeopardizing their medical privacy.
In these tough economic times, losing a job could mean financial disaster for many families. Rather than making it harder for American workers to take the leave that they need to care for themselves and their families, we should be expanding the FMLA to ensure that all workers are covered and can afford to take the leave by making it paid.
AAUW's member-adopted Public Policy Program has long supported flexible workplace policies to address the family responsibilities of employees. AAUW believes that creating work environments that help employees balance the responsibilities of work and family is good public policy - good for workers, good for families, and good for business.
Take Action! (click this link and scroll down to send a quick message to Nancy Pelosi.)
Urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make expanding FMLA a priority in the 111th Congress so that America's families don't have to choose between keeping a job and caring for themselves or a loved one. Simply scroll down and follow the instructions to compose and send your message.
For more information, read AAUW's position paper on family friendly workplaces.