Pending Legislation Would Significantly Expand FMLA Leave Entitlements for Employees
Last fall, Congress passed and the President signed several amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act, including an expansion of military leave (2010 Defense Department Authorization Bill) and a relaxation of the hours requirement for airline employees (Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act).
Congress' willingness to amend portions of the FMLA in 2009 may be a sign of things to come in 2010. The above FMLA legislation constitutes just a fraction of the FMLA bills under consideration in Congress. Click on the link below for a summary of FMLA legislation currently pending in Congress as well as its status.
- Family Fairness Act (H.R. 389): Eliminates the requirement under the FMLA that the employee have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period before the leave begins.
- Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (H.R. 626): Provides that 4 of the 12 weeks of parental leave available to federal employees under the FMLA would be paid leave.
- FMLA Enhancement Act (H.R. 824): Amends the FMLA to allow employees to take time off from work to participate in children's or grandchildren's school or community organization activities, attend regular medical/dental appointments, or attend to the needs of an elderly relative, such as visiting them in a nursing home; expands FMLA coverage to employers with 25 or more employees.
- Family Leave Insurance Act (H.R. 1723): Creates an insurance program, funded through employer and employee payroll tax contributions, to provide up to 12 weeks of paid FMLA leave benefits.
- FMLA Inclusion Act (H.R. 2132): Amends the FMLA to allow leave to care for a same-sex spouse, domestic partner, parent-in-law, child of a domestic partner, adult child, sibling, or grandparent with a serious health condition.
- FMLA Restoration Act (H.R. 2161): Repeals most of the employer-friendly provisions of the recent FMLA amendments, while leaving in place the new and more onerous requirements on employers.
- Family Income to Respond to Significant Transitions Act, or "FIRST Act" (H.R. 2339): Awards grants to states to pay portion of the cost of carrying out programs that assist families; provides wage replacement for eligible individuals taking FMLA leave or leave provided under state or local law.
- Healthy Families Act (H.R. 2460): Requires covered employers to provide employees up to 56 hours paid sick leave per year.
- Domestic Leave Violence Act (H.R. 2515): Amends the FMLA to permit leave for employees addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and their effects, and to care for a family member addressing domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and their effects.
- Paid Vacation Act (H.R. 2564): Requires employers to provide employees one week of paid vacation during each 12-month period and two weeks of paid vacation beginning on the employee's first anniversary of employment.
- Balancing Act of 2009 (H.R. 3047): Employers covered if they employ 25 or more; borrows from Family Leave Insurance Act to provide employees 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave; adopts FMLA Enhancement Act to provide for expanded uses of leave; permits leave to address acts of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; incorporates the Healthy Families Act.