Dodd, Clinton React to New FMLA Regulations

Press Release

Date: Nov. 14, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today responded to the Department of Labor's (DOL) announcement of new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations. Dodd and Clinton are the authors of a provision signed into law last year that allows the family of wounded military personnel to take up to 6 months of unpaid leave, expanding on the 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided by the FMLA.

"I am pleased that these new FMLA regulations will make extended leave for the families of wounded soldiers more accessible. Although this is a positive step, I remain concerned that these regulations do not go far enough and will not adequately protect every military family. Our troops and their families deserve nothing less. Senator Clinton and I fought hard to get this provision passed and I look forward to continuing to work with her and President-Elect Obama to ensure that this critically important leave is available to every military family," said Dodd. "Furthermore, many of the other regulations released by the DOL today will make it more difficult for American workers to take unpaid leave, requiring them to jump through bureaucratic hoops at a time when they should be able to focus solely on their needs and the needs of their families."

"I was proud to join Senator Dodd in securing into law the first ever expansion of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act to help families of wounded servicemembers take the time they need to care for their loved ones. The FMLA has helped millions of Americans balance the demands of work and family, and our measure will extend that helping hand to those who have given so much through their service and sacrifice. Unfortunately, some of the new Department of Labor regulations would make it harder for families to take the leave they need and deserve. This is unacceptable and I will continue to champion stronger protections and greater support for our military families," Senator Clinton said.

Senator Dodd is the author of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, which has allowed more than 50 million workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they are ill or if they need to care for a sick family member or new child. Dodd has also introduced the Family Leave Insurance Act, legislation that will provide paid leave to workers for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a child, spouse or parent with a serious illness or to care for their own serious illness.

Senator Clinton has been a champion of the Family and Medical Leave Act, working to build on this landmark law by cosponsoring the Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Healthy Families Act. She has also introduced legislation to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act to flight attendants and pilots. As New York's first Senator to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Clinton has made it one of her top priorities to ensure that our brave men and women in uniform and their families have the healthcare and support they need, most recently securing a series of measures in the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act approved unanimously by the Senate.