American Families In Favor of Family and Medical Leave Act, Big Corporations Against It
I know. Shocking, isn’t it?
Last winter, the Department of Labor announced that it would review the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Why would the Labor Department suddenly start taking “comments” on a bill that has been in place and served American families well for almost 15 years?
Because the Bush administration is beholden to big corporations and to be honest, they don’t like it, because it cuts into the holier-than-thou bottom line. Today, the New York Times has a story about the comments it’s been receiving from the general public and the predictable response from big corporations.
Personally, I am a big supporter of FMLA because I’m a big supporter of families. FMLA allows employees to balance their work and family life by taking up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a personal illness, the illness of a family member or for a new baby or adopted child.
This is timely for me because I just came off seven weeks of FMLA after the birth of our son Carter who was born in mid-April. For the past two years, I’ve been avoiding vacations or using any sick days I absolutely didn’t need to take so that when he was born, I could spend quality time with our new child without having to make a choice between paying the bills and spending quality time with my newborn son.
To me, that’s important.
It’s no secret that millions of people have benefited from the Family and Medical Leave Act. Whether it’s been taking time off to care for a sick parent, or being at home to help in the recovery of a sick or disabled spouse, or a new parent spending quality time with their new child, it’s been an important tool on the side of American families so they aren’t forced with the horrifying choice between their family and their job.
It’s also no secret that groups like the National Association of Manufacturers are lobbying very hard to weaken FMLA and why it’s so important to keep an eye on issues like this that affect almost every working American in one way or another.
Personally, the last seven weeks for me were very rewarding and beneficial to our family, and despite the inability to find more than three consecutive hours of sleep, something I’ll always look back on with fond memories. I can’t imagine not having that time, and that’s the thing the big corporations hate about FMLA: the more people who utilize it, the more they’ll support it.