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.