Congressman Charles B. Rangel marked the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. On February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act into law -- only the third bill he signed upon becoming President, two weeks after his inauguration. President George H. W. Bush had earlier vetoed the Family and Medical Leave Act twice.
"Since the enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act 20 years ago, it has been used more than 100 million times by workers to take unpaid leave to care for themselves, their new children and their family members without having to worry that their jobs will be gone when they return," Rangel pointed out.
Over the last 20 years, due to the FMLA, mothers and fathers have taken time to care for new babies. Expecting mothers have taken time to care for themselves and seek medical help during complicated pregnancies. Adult children have taken time to care for ailing parents. Indeed, nearly everyone has, or knows someone who has, benefited from the FMLA. The protections of the FMLA were most recently expanded by a Democratic-led Congress in 2010 to cover family members dealing with a military deployment or service-related injury. This key piece of legislation however, is not perfect. The current Act excludes many individuals who are dependents of military personnel yet cannot enjoy what little time they have with their loved ones before deployment. For this reason the Congressman was a cosponsor of the 112th Congress to further the needs of military personnel dependents.
"The Families and Medical Leave Act has helped millions of families manage their responsibilities at work and at home," Rangel concluded. "As a war veteran of the Korean War I recognize the value in such a key piece of legislation that I wish had been passed sooner. As we move forward, we need to look for ways to improve the Family and Medical Leave Act and ways to further help America's workers better balance their responsibilities on the job with their responsibilities to their families at home as well as guarantee that all our servicemen get to spend the precious time with their family that they deserve. For this reason I pledge my continued support during the 113th Congress in furthering this aim."