Today is the 20th "anniversary" of the Family & Medical Leave Act [FMLA] signed into law by
former president Clinton. He states in Politico today that it remains the most popular piece of legislation of his presidency. The law allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualified family or medical reasons without losing their job, Basically, it allows our values to meld with our responsibilities.
Revise The Law To Fit Our Changing Times
Like so many others, I think the law still has room to grow. It's time to extend the law to companies with fewer than 50 employees since small business drives our economy [currently they do not fall under its mandate] & it's time to examine if we can add some compensation [especially health benefits] to the equation. Before employers throw up their hands in dismay,, let's look at the facts. We remain the most productive country in the world and yet employers have found countless ways to do more with fewer workers which is one of the reasons our recovery is so sluggish. If businesses are doing well under these conditions, than surely they can find a way to continue to compensate these
valued employees in some way.
Valuing Your Workforce Means "Doing Right"
Continuing to connect our values with our responsibilities, updating the FMLA in this new century is more necessary then ever since we will have a workforce that has been impacted by over a decade of war. Thanks to advances in modern medicine, more wounded warriors will be returning home so they will need the support & care of their family members as well as a bit more flexibility for themselves. If their injuries [mental or physical] are severe enough that they cannot remain in the workforce, that will become clear soon enough but don't we at least owe them a chance? Politicians are quick to bandy about the word 'patriotism' & we are always saying that we support our troops. This might be one way to put our business "money where our national mouth is!" Incidentally also completely in keeping with Maya Angelou's quote on Superbowl Sunday:
"...Doing right, we known for that; if we don't do right, we are known for that too...":