Today, Congressman Tim Bishop hailed the 20th anniversary of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, which has been used more than 100 million times by workers to take unpaid leave to care for themselves, their new children and their family members without fear of losing their job.
Bishop, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, led a successful effort in Congress to extend FMLA protections to airline flight crews. Bishop‘s Airline Flight Crew Family and Medical Leave Act was passed in the House of Representatives in 2009 and signed into law as part of a comprehensive FMLA reform in 2010 that also extended coverage to family members dealing with a military deployment or service-related injury.
“Hardworking Americans deserve the opportunity to care for a sick loved one or spend precious first weeks with a new child without risking their job,” Congressman Bishop said. “I will continue to work to improve the Family and Medical Leave Act so America’s workers can better balance their work responsibilities with the needs of their families at home.”
President Bill Clinton signed FMLA into law on February 5, 1993 – only the third bill he signed upon becoming President. President George H. W. Bush had earlier vetoed the Family and Medical Leave Act twice.
The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period because of their own illness, or to care for a newborn child or other family member. Eligible employees are entitled to twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered military service member with a serious injury or illness.