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Editor’s note: This article was updated in October 2015.
You may recall my post asking you to show support for the Family Medical Leave Act. The Labor Department wanted public comment on this important law that legally allows us WMAGs to take off work when we have babies (what a concept!)
According to a July 5 post on the On Balance blog, the DOL has heard your comments—more than 15,000 of them. Now it plans to … drumroll, please … do nothing about them. The department did issue a 181-page report, though. That and a nickel will get you a hot cup of jack squat.
I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if anything ever comes of this report. Maybe it will help get the proposed Balancing Act and Healthy Families Act passed? Or at least give the next president something to work on. Just 563 days to go … but who’s counting?
Headed in the right direction
Since this post was first published, family and medical leave law hasn’t progressed as far as I’d like, but at least same-sex couples are now treated equally when it comes to legally guaranteed leave. The U.S. Department of Labor explained in this update back in February 2015:
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division today announced a Final Rule to revise the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. The Final Rule amends the definition of spouse so that eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take FMLA leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live.
So, that’s something. We still have a long way to go.
More about FMLA and other policies that impact working families
- Using Maternity Leave to Advance(!) Your Career (3-part series)
- Three Weeks: Is Maternity Leave Too Short?: Is maternity leave too short in the United States? Unfortunately, for many mothers, the answer is yes. What can we do to improve working motherhood for all?
- 10 Creative Mom-Friendly Workplace Practices: Working mom Wendy Kirwan shares some excellent ideas about how to make workplaces more parent-friendly. Very inspiring — see if you can get your employer to adopt some of these.
- Baby Steps Back to Work: Certified life coach Heather Carpenter Stegal shares her guide for maternity leave and how moms can successfully transition back to work.
- MomsRising: Making America More Family-Friendly: Find out why we dig MomsRising, a grassroots, online-based effort to mobilize moms—and those who care about moms—across America as a force for change.
- Don’t Get Guilty, Get Even: The U.S. is an increasingly hostile place to live for millions of working moms and dads. It’s important to know how this affects you, and what you can do to change things.
- Help Working Parents, Help Your Business: US employers, take note: When businesses support working parents with things like flexibility and understanding managers, workplace productivity increases.
- Why I Don’t Believe in Mommy Guilt: Why take on the burden of mommy guilt? Instead of blaming yourself, let’s focus on the societal structures that make it so hard for working families.
- Happy Anniversary, FMLA: Celebrate the passing of the Family and Medical Leave Act, legislation enacted in 1993 to guarantee employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family and medical needs.
- Maternity Leave: It’s Not Just for Moms Anymore!: Introducing a resource for moms AND dads that offers real-life stories and tips for how to stay on track when you take time off to have a child.