What a Celebration! The FMLA at 20

by | Feb 19, 2013 | Family Medical Leave Act

This month, the National Partnership, along with other advocates, workers and lawmakers, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – the first and only national law to help workers balance the demands of job and family. The celebrations included a strong push to expand the law, so that more workers can take leave for more reasons and so all workers will have paid family leave insurance.Workers have taken leave more than 100 million times under the FMLA in these 20 years. To recognize the FMLA’s impact on men, women and families across the country, the National Partnership hosted “A Night of 100 Million Thanks” celebration. The event brought together past and present champions of the FMLA and family friendly workplace policies to both reflect on the law’s success and look to the future.

<!––>Left to right: National Partnership Senior Advisor Judy Lichtman, Rep. Honda (D – Calif.), House Minority Leader Pelosi (D – Calif.), former Rep. Morella (R – Md.), former Sen. Dodd (D – Conn.), Rep. Capps (D – Calif.), Rep. Cardenas (D – Calif.), Rep. Sinema (D – Ariz.), Rep. DeLauro (D – Conn.) and National Partnership President Debra Ness. (In attendance, but not pictured: Sen. Cardin (D – Md.), Sen. Harkin (D – Iowa), Sen. Hirono (D – Hawaii), Sen. Murphy (D – Conn.), Rep. Duckworth (D – Ill.), Rep. Lujan Grisham (D – N.M. ), Rep. Kennedy (D – Mass.), Rep. Schakowsky (D – Ill.) and Rep. Swalwell (D – Calif.).)

The historic anniversary generated a great deal of activity on Capitol Hill and across the country, including multiple events, a new Department of Labor report on the FMLA, and many op-eds and blog posts from members of Congress and advocates. We are so grateful to everyone who made the milestone both a celebration and a call to action. Take a look at some of the highlights below and find photos here.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.) held a press conference on February 5th to commemorate the FMLA’s 20th anniversary. The event featured members of Congress who support family friendly legislation, workers who have been helped by the FMLA, and representatives of the coalition that is urging lawmakers to take the next step.

Current and Former Lawmakers and Advocates Reflect on the FMLA and Call for Next Steps:

Former President Bill Clinton thanks the National Partnership and others for their continued work to expand the FMLA and advance paid leave policies at a celebration event hosted by the Department of Labor.

Bill Clinton: Why I Signed the Family and Medical Leave ActFormer President Bill Clinton, PoliticoFamily and Medical Leave Act Still WorkingFormer Senators Kit Bond (R – Mo.) and Chris Dodd (D – Conn.), USA Today20 Years, 100 Million Families HelpedRepresentative Rosa DeLauro (D – Conn.) and former Representative Connie Morella (R – Md.), Roll CallSick leave is essential for the workforceSenator Tom Harkin (D – Iowa), PoliticoFMLA 20 years on: A disconnect that’s hurting familiesDebra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families, The HillThe Family and Medical Leave Act Turns 20!Debra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families, Working Mother20 Years Ago Today, America Became a More Family-Friendly Nation — And We Must Do It AgainDebra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families, Huffington PostThe Family and Medical Leave Act: Then, Now and NextSeth Harris (Acting Secretary of Labor), Huffington PostKunin: Family and Medical Leave Act needs one more word: paidFormer Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin (D), VT DiggerExpand National Paid Family LeaveEileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research, U.S. News & World ReportOp-Ed: The Family and Medical Leave Act Turns 20 But Half of U.S. Workers Still Can’t Use ItEllen Bravo, Family Values @ Work, Take PartA Personal Family and Medical Leave Act Story: How Children and Family Policy Became a “Big Thing”Patty Cole, Zero to ThreeMaking the Workplace Friendly for Everyone’s FamiliaAlicia Criado, National Council of La RazaExtend the Family Medical Leave ActSteven L. Dawes, United Steelworkers4 Reasons To Update The Family And Medical Leave Act For The 21st CenturyPat Garofalo, Center for American Progress Action Fund, ThinkProgressIWPR Marks Anniversary of FMLA: Progress Still Needed on Paid LeaveJasmin Griffin, Institute for Women’s Policy ResearchProtecting Our Families When They’re Most VulnerableEmily Hecht-McGown, Family Equality Council5 Advocacy Lessons from the FMLA CampaignSue Hoechstetter, Bolder AdvocacyCelebrating Twenty Years of the FMLAMary Kay Henry, SEIUKluger: Give devastated parents the time they need to grieveBarry Kluger, The MISS Foundation, NewsdayWhen Family Leave Crosses the AisleJodie Levin-Epstein, CLASP, Huffington PostFMLA Anniversary: Celebrating 20 Years of Strengthening FamiliesLinda Meric, 9to5, National Association of Working Women, Huffington PostA Long Road to the Rose GardenSammie Moshenberg, National Council of Jewish WomenPaid Family Leave: A Work UnfinishedSusan Ochshorn, ECEPolicyWorks, ECE Policy MattersStrengthening 21st Century Families: The Case for Paid Family LeaveSusan Ochshorn, ECEPolicyWorks, and Curtis Skinner, National Center for Children in Poverty, Spotlight on Poverty and OpportunityMomsRising Celebrates and Looks Forward to Expanding on FMLA with Our PartnersKristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, MomsRisingExtend family leave to all workersJanet Walsh, Human Rights Watch, CNNTwelve Weeks and Twenty Years: Happy Birthday, Family and Medical Leave Act!Liz Watson, National Women’s Law CenterFor more, check out MomsRising’s FMLA Blog Carnival.