Changed America’s Workplaces


WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act being signed by President Clinton. DeLauro’s home state of Connecticut passed the first-ever state family and medical leave legislation in 1989.


“Workers have used the leave provided for by the FMLA over 100 million times – to care for their newborn children, to care for sick or injured family members, or just to get better themselves. The FMLA transformed American workplaces for the better. They are more family-friendly, more productive, and more efficient because, 20 years ago, Congress acted in a bipartisan fashion on behalf of employees, employers, and American families.


“I also would note that for years before we passed the FMLA, there was an outcry that the U.S. economy would not survive. Not only did it survive, but it thrived. Smart business leaders know that family and medical leave helps them preserve top talent and cut down on costs in the long run.


“But sadly, we still have a lot of work to do. The FMLA is unpaid leave, and many eligible workers cannot afford to take it – eight out of 10 by the most recent survey. We need to modernize and expand the FMLA. And we need to pass paid leave legislation that I have long championed. Being a working parent should not mean choosing between your job and taking care of yourself and your family.


“And just like when it passed the first-ever state family and medical leave legislation back in 1989, Connecticut is once again leading the way forward. My home state passed the first-in-the-nation state paid sick days law in 2011. I hope, just like the FMLA, we can take this law national.


“But today we honor and celebrate the FMLA. Happy birthday, FMLA!”