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Extend the Family Medical Leave Act

My surgery went fine Friday. I had to use FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) for the next couple months of work I’ll be missing.

Twenty years ago last week, then-President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law.

Before the passage of the FMLA, far too many workers had to make the intolerable choice between keeping their jobs or taking the time to give birth or deal with a family crisis. The FMLA extended a much-needed helping hand to families in their time of need and it has now benefited more than 10 million working families.

Now, twenty years after the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the time has come for Congress to expand the law to cover more families and provide paid leave for workers.

Only one in five of all new mothers are able to utilize the law’s benefits. Lesbian and gay partners and spouses are not covered. More than three-quarters of the eligible workers who need leave are unable to use it because they cannot afford to go without their wages.

No American should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love. Pro-family health care policies strengthen our economy and are in everyone’s best interest. Our nation’s productivity and competitiveness benefit when workers are able to meet their demands at home and on the job.

It’s time for us to show our support. Please sign the petition to extend the FMLA: www.afscme.org/FMLA

Steven L. Dawes
Bellevue, Ne
Omaha Steve A.K.A. OS
Shop Steward AFSCME Local 251
Labor Leader of the Democratic Underground

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