AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

WHEREAS, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) became law in 1993 and since its enactment has allowed more than 50 million workers to take job-protected time off when they need it most: for the care of a newborn, newly adopted child or seriously ill family member; and

WHEREAS, the Family and Medical Leave Act is under threat by proposed changes that will take away critical protections for working families; and

WHEREAS, opponents of FMLA are seeking to weaken the Act using the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulatory power to scale back drastically the scope of this important law by changing the definition of serious illness and redefining when the care of a family member is needed; and

WHEREAS, the FMLA already has several shortcomings in that it only applies to workplaces with 50 or more employees, and nearly 44.5 million workers—more than 40 percent from the private sector—are not covered; and

WHEREAS, the smaller employers are less likely to provide paid sick leave and other work-family benefits, leaving those workers with a crisis of balancing work and family; and

WHEREAS, the FMLA provides for unpaid leave unlike family leave policies in the rest of the industrialized world; and

WHEREAS, expanding the FMLA would enable more workers to meet the needs of their families without having to compromise their income and job security; and

WHEREAS, nearly half of all the states in the United States provide more benefits than provided by the federal law:

RESOLVED, that the civil and human rights and women's rights committees work for the expansion of the FMLA and press the Labor Department and Congress to provide better policies to help our nation’s families—not scale back the few protections they have; and

RESOLVED, that we continue to work through our union and bargain with employers for family and medical leave benefits that extend beyond the FMLA; and

RESOLVED, that we lead efforts at the state level to win paid family and medical leave benefits for working families and the extension of coverage to workers in smaller workplaces.


(2006)