Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave

The United States is the only developed nation that does not provide paid family leave to its citizens. The U.S. doesn’t even mandate paid maternity leave; the only other nations that don’t offer such basic support include Lesotho, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland. After the passage of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, the U.S. requires larger employers to offer unpaid family leave to their workers. As of this writing,  California and New Jersey are the only two states that offer paid family leave. 

Commentary

Chamber of Commerce Was Wrong About Family and Medical Leave Law

February 04, 2013

Chamber of Commerce, Wrong Again

May 19, 2011
Family Leave: mother and child

Another Job Killer Lie Exposed

January 21, 2011

Cry Wolf Quotes

[John] Motley [of the NFIB] warned that business owners should not be fooled by small-business exemption [in the FMLA]. ‘That’s only temporary,’ he assured them, adding that he sponsors ‘stated aim’ was ‘paid leave for all employees.’

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NFIB mass mailer sent to tens of thousands of that organization’s members. 1988.
01/01/1988 | Full Details | Law(s): Family Medical Leave Act

This socialist diktat takes feel-good politics to a new level….the basic argument for this socialist propaganda is the necessity for Big Brother to subsidize an army of breastfeeding single mothers….Ultimately, the inevitable impact of the cost of the paid family leave measure will fall on the shoulders of the ever-diminishing minority in this state: those who build businesses and create the real jobs that sustain our economy. You know, the ones moving to Florida and other states with no state income tax and few of the ridiculous government regulations that make New Jersey the worst state in the nation for small business.

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Steven Lonegan, Republican mayor of Bogota and executive director of Americans for Prosperity, The Bergen County Record

We can fix it for you. We fix everything in Washington. We raise your taxes, we raise the deficit, we have more regulations, so we can give you more mandates and tell your employer what to do in Topeka, KS, or wherever it may be in America…. Well, Mr. President, this is one of those cases where Washington does not know best….The real world impact of this well-intentioned legislation--this mandate--is that employers will revisit those projections and budgets and cut back on something else, including creating new jobs at the very time that we need new jobs.

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Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) during consideration of the conference report on the FMLA before the Senate.
08/11/1992 | Full Details | Law(s): Family Medical Leave Act

On that family leave bill, I think that it would impose a burden upon businesses, including small businesses.... You would be telling businesses, through that act, that they are required to bring temporaries in, go through a training cycle, and lose the continuity that is so important to making a business function well. It has the effect of making it more expensive for them to do business. More expensive per employee, more expensive per job. The business can only defend itself by offering fewer jobs. That's the only way they can pay for it. It is a job killer….It makes it more expensive to hire people, so businesses say we won't hire people.

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Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK). Daily Oklahoman.
10/25/1992 | Full Details | Law(s): Family Medical Leave Act

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Work, Family and Equity Index: How Does the United States Measure Up?

The Project on Global Working Families is a study that measures worldwide social safety nets.

Resources

Institute for Women’s Policy Research is a prominent think tank that is largely focused on American women's issues. This covers everything from pay equity to welfare reform to domestic violence.

MomsRising focuses on "bringing important motherhood and family issues."

The National Partnership for Women and Families leads the national fight for paid sick days and paid family and medical leave.