The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (the "FMLA") has been the law of the land since 1993.
Before the FMLA was enacted, most employers could legally terminate workers who were required to take time off when they became seriously ill or when they cared for seriously ill family members including their own children.
To learn more about the FMLA please watch this brief video:
Although certain states including New Jersey and California have enacted laws which mandate paid leave and former President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13706 on September 7, 2015 establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors, there is currently no national policy requiring paid leave for American workers.
The FAMILY Act could change all that.
The FAMILY Act calls for guarantee paid leave to employees irrespective of the size of the organizations they work for.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) reintroduced the bill into Congress last month and many Democrats are calling upon President Donald Trump to take action on the FAMILY Act.
If signed into law, the FAMILY Act would provide working Americans with two-thirds compensation for up to 12 weeks when they take job-protected time off for their own serious health conditions including pregnancy and childbirth or to care for others.
This is in sharp contrast to the FMLA which guarantees only unpaid leave to certain eligible employees who work for organizations with 50 or more employees.
Read the language of the proposed statute here: