(Extensions of Remarks - April 25, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E551]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                        HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 25, 2013

  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, it is time to bring 
our nation's federal workplace policies into the 21st Century. Signed 
into law 20 years ago this past February, the Family and Medical Leave 
Act (FMLA) provides protections to almost 60 percent of the American 
workforce. This means approximately 90 million workers are covered and 
eligible for leave under current FMLA policies that allow for up to 12 
weeks of unpaid leave from work to care for a new baby or to care for a 
spouse, child under age 18, or parent who has a serious health 
condition. While this leave has provided critical work protections to 
individuals in times of great need, this landmark law does not go far 
enough in accommodating our modern workforce and families.
  Polls related to recent cases before the Supreme Court show that more 
and more Americans support marriage equality and recognize the need to 
extend federal rights and privileges to all American families. With 
that goal in mind, I am introducing the Family and Medical Leave 
Inclusion Act that will allow same sex spouses and partners, 
grandparents, and other loved ones eligible to take family and medical 
leave to care for a sick family member. Under current federal law, such 
individuals do not qualify for FMLA, making it impossible for some 
employees to be with their loved ones during times of medical need.
  Almost 600 employers, including more than two hundred fortune 500 
companies, several states, the District of Columbia, and some local 
jurisdictions have extended these protections to individuals not 
originally included in the original Family and Medical Leave Act. The 
legislation I am introducing today would allow an employee to take 
unpaid leave from work if his or her same-sex spouse or domestic 
partner has a serious health condition. It also permits employees to 
take FMLA to care for a parent-in-law, adult child, sibling, grandchild 
or grandparent if that person has a serious health condition. 
Additionally, given repeal of don't ask don't tell, this legislation 
includes domestic partners of service members as permissible candidates 
for FMLA.
  I thank Senator Richard Durbin for introducing this legislation on 
the Senate side as well as my colleagues who have signed on as original 
supporters. I urge swift passage of this bill.