Saturday, February 19, 2005

FMLA Threatened

Although I do sometimes have a lot of complaints about my workplace, and there are quite a few things that are worth complaining about, but they have been very supportive in letting me find a way to make things work after Celeste was born. True, I only took two weeks off after she was born instead of a month (and I did some work from home during that time), and for rest of the year my plan to burn off more sick/vacation/FMLA-allowed days by working only four-day weeks never came to fruition, but both of those were my choice/feeling overwhelmed and not making it work.

My time-shifted workdays on Tuesday/Thursday have been working out very well, at least for me, Evelin and Celeste, and I'm glad that plan was accepted fairly easily by management.

So, why am I mentioning this? Because the Bush administration is purportedly looking to rollback the already skimpy rights the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives workers to take time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a sick family member. The National Partnership for Women & Families has the details, but the gist of the matter is that the Department of Labor is being urged to limit the conditions/situations covered by FMLA and to change how the accounting methods used for tracking days/hours taken under FMLA. (For an example of lobbying effort underway, see the so-called FMLA Technical Corrections Coalition.)

I can understand how some employers may have trouble with a law that forces them to hold someone's job when they need to take up to twelve weeks off to care for a newborn or ailing loved one, but those same employers would probably prefer to do away with the 40-hour work week, and the weekend, and just about anything else that would keep employees away from their desk.

Again, I've been lucky, but Russ at The Daily Yak a pretty horrifying tale of having to assert his FMLA rights against the wishes of his employer. Elizabeth at Half Changed World has a rundown of what people can do to make them opinions heard to help protect FMLA.

(via Daddytypes)

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

In case you hadn't heard, DOL is now soliciting comments on FMLA. It would be great if you could help spread the word.