Feb 2015 Labor History Minute

Family and Medical Leave Act

​​On February 5th 1993 President William J. Clinton signed into law The Family and Medical Leave Act. This law was introduced by William D. Ford as H.R.1. The bill passed the senate on February 4th by a vote of 71 to 27. It passed in the House of Representatives on February 3rd by a vote of 265 to 163.

​The first draft of this legislation was written by the Women’s Legal Defense Fund in 1984. The FMLA was put before congress every year for nine years before it was signed into law. It was blocked repeatedly and even though it was passed by congress it was vetoed twice by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and in 1992.

​The passage of this legislation after nine years of adversity was only made possible by the large coalition of supporters put together by the National Partnership for Women and Families. This coalition included women’s, labor, disability, children’s, religious, senior citizens groups and the United States Catholic Conference.

​The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave each year to qualifying employees for specified family and medical leave reasons and pursuant to amendments to the law, up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12- month period to care for a seriously ill or injured covered service member.

Matt Fennell
Education Committee




Watch a short video of President Clinton’s remarks after signing FMLA into law


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