Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the twentieth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993:
“As we mark the twentieth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 taking effect, it is important to recognize how American workers and their families have benefitted from this law. Before this law was implemented, workers were at risk of losing their jobs if they had to take time off due to a medical emergency or to care for a sick loved-one. Those who became pregnant – or whose partners became pregnant – also had no federal job protection if they needed to go on leave following the birth of a child.
“The Family and Medical Leave Act has been especially empowering to women, who are increasingly the breadwinners of their families and find themselves regularly having to face the difficult balance of work and family responsibilities. For single mothers and those serving as the primary caretaker for an elderly relative, the law has helped provide critical job security. By ensuring job protection and mandating the continuation of health benefits, the Family and Medical Leave Act has provided a measure of flexibility that helps our middle class succeed and expand.
“Since August 5, 1993, this law has been used more than 100 million times – but too many who are eligible for the unpaid leave offered by the Family and Medical Leave Act cannot afford to take it. That’s why it is time for Congress to consider legislation to extend paid leave in certain cases to set the United States on par with other leading economies and make sure every worker is able to take advantage of the Act’s protections. I will continue to stand up for the Family and Medical Leave Act and greater protections for all of America’s workers as we strive to build a stronger middle class and expand access to the American Dream.”