Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Family Leave Needs *You*

The United States has staggeringly weak family leave laws, so any attempt to muck with what little we have makes me very, very nervous. So I was, naturally, alarmed when I read at Half Changed World that the government had put out a Request for Information on the Family and Medical Leave Act (and even put out a press release about it.)

Though it seems hard to contemplate that FMLA could actually be made *worse*, but longtime readers will remember my alarm in early 2005, when the government began making noise about changes.

This has been quiet so far -- Moms Rising is on it, and there's an AP story on the effort that quotes Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families:
Ness does not want to see sweeping changes "that could seriously undermine the protections that people now have, and our worry is that this is a step toward doing that," she said in an interview.

I know a lot of the readers here have experiences with FMLA -- I know I have -- and it is vitally important that your experience be on the record. The government is taking comments until Feb. 2 at whdcomments@dol.gov. Please, please drop a comment noting your support for FMLA (or -- heaven forbid -- a *strengthened* FMLA.

If you're looking for a silver lining, today's New York Times has one. Apparently, incoming Dems are ready to fight for paid sick leave. It's not a huge step (we need paid family leave, we need more flexibility to FMLA, etc. etc.), but every little bit helps.


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