The Family Medical and Leave Act Essay

1362 Words 6 Pages
The Family Medical and Leave Act

When President Clinton signed the Family Medical & Leave Act in 1993, he created a brand new avenue for American workers to manage their work-life balance. Thus far, the act has helped thousands of families focus on spending time with their kids during the times in life when parents are needed most. New mothers now have the security of knowing that when they take a maternity leave, there will be a job waiting for them if they decide to return. The other major advantage is that it has allowed families with troubled children to play a more influential part in helping their children turn themselves around.
Ever since the act took effect, numerous studies have taken place about its effectiveness.
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The one major drawback of this proposal is that unemployment insurance is paid to states by business as a buffer against temporary economic downturn. Using these funds for more general purposes could cause these funds to bankrupt if a recession were to occur. 20 million employees out of an eligible workforce of 92 million have used the act at least once.
Recently, Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a bill that would have allowed employees to use family leave to care for a domestic partner. This bill would have expanded leave to include care for siblings, adult children, and grandparents.
Opposition to the bill stemmed from the possibility that people may apply the bill to care for their homosexual “life partners”. Jeff Sheehy, director of Equal Benefits Advocates stated in response to the governor’s decision “He’s denying us our basic humanity. He’s saying our partners aren’t as important as his wife.” In a state that has a high homosexual population, this is a move that may play a major role in Gov. Davis’ re-election campaign.

A Challenge: As recently as May 10th of this year, the Family Medical & Leave Act has been challenged. Gerard McDavitt, former Vice President of Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos, a Boston advertising agency, is suing his former employer for violations under the act. Mr. McDavitt was fired while on leave for cancer treatments and its related depression.
The agency claims that McDavitt had taken four

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