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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

Oppose Restrictive Change to the Family and Medical Leave Act and Support Federal and Local Legislation Providing Paid Family Leave

Resolution No. 61
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

For 15 years, the Family and Medical Leave Act has worked well, providing more than 60 million working Americans with unpaid time off to care for themselves or their families; and

This year marks the first time the FMLA has been expanded in any way.  Now, military families will be able to take up to 26 weeks of job-protected leave to help care for service members injured in combat.  In addition, military family members will be able to use the traditional 12 week FMLA allotment to help them deal with the deployment of a close relative; and

With the economy in distress and families under pressure, instead of working to further expand this critical law so more could benefit from its protections and flexibility, the Bush Labor Department has proposed new regulations concerning reporting, certification and medical requirements that would make it harder for workers to use FMLA leave; and

Millions of workers cannot afford to take the unpaid leave the law provides.  In fact, 78 percent of those needing, but not taking, the FMLA leave state this as the reason for not doing so; and

Since 2004, California, Washington and New Jersey have enacted legislation providing paid family leave; and

In addition to proposed legislation in four other states, federal legislation providing paid family and medical leave is currently being considered.

That while AFSCME supports the added benefits available for military families, we oppose the proposed restrictive changes to the FMLA regulations; and

To ensure that families do not have to choose between paying their bills and caring for family members, AFSCME urges Congress and/or the states to enact legislation providing paid family leave for workers who need time off to care for a new child, a seriously ill family member, or to recover from their own serious illness.
SUBMITTED BY: Sherryl Gordon, Executive Director and Delegate
AFSCME Council 1
New Jersey