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Ernst, Cotton, McCaskill and Heitkamp Introduce Bill to Modernize FMLA


Location: Washington, DC

Yesterday, Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced legislation to ensure that married couples who work for the same employer are not restricted in the amount of leave they can take under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a newborn, sick parent or servicemember or for the adoption of a child.

"The FMLA is in need of modernization, especially when it comes to leave opportunities afforded to new parents and families. Our bipartisan legislation--the FAIR Leave Act--is a win for our growing families and will provide equitable leave for working parents regardless of their employer," said Senator Ernst.

"The amount of unpaid leave afforded to parents of newborns shouldn't be limited simply because they both work for the same employer. This bill corrects that discrepancy in the Family and Medical Leave Act and will treat parents fairly, whether or not they work for the same employer," said Senator Cotton.

"This commonsense fix will ensure that all Missouri families are granted the leave they deserve in order to take care of their families without fear of losing their job," McCaskill said. "And it's especially important this fix will help military families taking care of sick or injured servicemembers."

"Working families are the backbone of North Dakota's economy, and family and medical leave gives these families the peace of mind they need to look after newborn babies, take care of aging parents, or recover from an unexpected illness. But under the current law married parents are unfairly punished if they happen to work for the same employer," said Senator Heitkamp. "I'm proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation to help fix this issue and strengthen leave options. This bill would fix a glitch to make sure everyone taking unpaid leave is able to care for their loved ones, recover from labor and delivery, and bond with their kids, which is such an important part of early development in a child's life."

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