Family Leave Insurance Act reintroduced in U.S. House
March 27, 2009
The Family Leave Insurance Act, legislation to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide paid leave for all workers to care for their families, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday by Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA). Millions of lesbian and gay Americans in committed, long-term relationships are currently unable to take FMLA leave to take leave to care for their same-sex partner. While some states and private employers have filled this gap in coverage by offering family medical leave for workers to care for a domestic partner, an expansion of the FMLA is needed in order to cover millions of unprotected American families. The Family Leave Insurance Act (H.R. 1723) gives access not only to crucial FMLA leave benefits for families headed by lesbian and gay couples, but also ensures that 12 weeks of paid leave time over a 12-month period to care for a new child, provide for an ill family member, treat their own illness, care for a wounded veteran, or deal with the deployment of a family member. Joe Solmonese issued this statement on Thursday:
All American workers need time off to care for themselves and their loved ones. This bill will allow families headed by lesbian and gay couples to take the time they need to care for their families while maintaining their financial security. We thank Representative Stark and all of the congressional supporters of this legislation for their leadership on LGBT family issues. This Act values the American family in all of its diverse forms. Families headed by lesbian and gay couples suffer the same levels of stress, lack of productivity, distraction and fear of job loss as do others when their domestic partners become ill, and yet they are not guaranteed access to leave to care for them under the FMLA. It’s time to ensure that all working families have the opportunity to provide care for their loved ones when it is needed most. We urge members from both sides of the aisle to co-sponsor and support this critical legislation.