The Family Medical Leave Act has helped millions of Americans since 1993 by providing job protection when you need time off for a serious medical condition or pregnancy, or you need to care for an immediate family member with a serious medical condition.
However, many Americans can’t afford to take advantage of the FMLA because of the fact that the 12 weeks of leave time protected under the law are not paid days off. Many employers do offer short-term disability insurance to employees, and sometimes that is available to cover FMLA leave, but for many it’s not an option. In 2012, only 12 percent of Americans had access to paid family leave.
A new bill introduced in Congress in late 2013 aims to change that, making the 12 weeks of FMLA leave available to every employee during a 12-month period paid. Under the proposed bill, even part-time, low-wage and contingent workers would have access to paid leave for serious health conditions.
The Family Act would provide workers with two-thirds of their regular pay, capped at $1,000 per week. The money would come from a Social Security program funded by payroll contributions by employees and employers at a cost of two cents for every $10 earned.
New Jersey and California already have similar state-run programs for employees, and have reported either positive or neutral effects on their business.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination due to absences covered under the FMLA, Amy Crossan represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304-523-8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.