Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes a part of Shelton, has released the following statement celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Connecticut passed the first-ever state family and medical leave legislation in 1989.
DeLauro is the author of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, along with a fellow Democrat, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The FAMILY Act would establish national paid family and medical leave so that all workers in America would have access to paid family and medical leave. Eight out of 10 eligible workers cannot afford to take FMLA leave, making the FAMILY Act a necessity for millions of Americans, according to DeLauro.
“Workers have used the leave provided for by the FMLA over 200 million times — to care for their children, to care for sick or injured family members, or just to get better themselves.
“The FMLA transformed American workplaces for the better. They are more family-friendly, more productive, and more efficient because, 22 years ago, Congress acted in a bipartisan fashion on behalf of employees, employers, and American families.
“Congress needs to act again. The FMLA is unpaid leave, and eight out of 10 eligible workers cannot afford to take it. The FAMILY Act is a long-overdue, common-sense idea that families have been clamoring for and whose time has come.
“Being a working parent should not mean choosing between your job and taking care of yourself and your family.
“The single biggest economic issue facing Americans today is that too many jobs simply do not pay enough to live on. To reverse this trend, we need to ensure that families can earn the support they need.
“People want to have strong families, be good parents, and be successful at their jobs. Without that opportunity, families, businesses and the economy will suffer.”
DeLauro is in her 13th term representing the Third Congressional District, which is based in the greater New Haven area.