Big changes coming in Family Leave Act?

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would dramatically change the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Under the proposed law, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., FMLA’s leave protections would extend to employers with more than 25 employees.

That’s a lower threshold than the current 50 or more employee requirement.

“No one should have to fear that they’ll lose their job if they need to take medical leave or care for a family member,” Maloney said. “The landmark Family and Medical Leave Act sought to end that insecurity by guaranteeing 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

“Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of workers are not covered by that law because they work in businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The Enhancement Act will … (give) millions more people the peace of mind that if they need to take sick leave they won’t lose their job. Every American deserves the rights afforded by the Family and Medical Leave Act and this legislation would help us reach that goal.”

Maloney’s Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act of 2014 would also permit covered employees to avail themselves of up to 24 hours per year of unpaid Parental Involvement and Family Wellness leave to attend parent-teacher conferences or take their children, grandchildren or other family members to regular medical or dental appointments.

The measure would require employees to provide at least seven days’ notice “or as much notice as is practicable” before taking such parental involvement and family wellness leave.

Given the current makeup of Congress, the bill is unlikely to advance this term but may be introduced again at some point.

About the Author


Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.