New bill in Congress will revamp FMLA to cover smaller employers

fmla.jpegHow about cutting the 50-employee requirement for covered employers in half? 

So, if you have 25 or more employees working within 75 miles of one another, they would be eligible to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

And that’s just part of the Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act of 2014, which Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week.

Eligible employees would also be able to “participate in or attend an activity that is sponsored by a school or community organization and relates to a program of the school or organization that is attended by a son or daughter or a grandchild of the employee.”

A covered employee could also use FMLA to “meet routine family medical care needs, including for medical and dental appointments of the employee or a son, daughter, spouse, or grandchild of the employee, or to attend to the care needs of elderly individuals who are related to the eligible employee, including visits to nursing homes and group homes.”

We’re talking major FMLA changes here.

For more on the Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act of 2014, check out this press release from Rep. Maloney.

(h/t Ilyse Wolens Schuman @ D.C. Employment Law Update)

  • Holy cow! School programs become protected by law? That bill is scary.

    • Now, hold on a sec. I have four kids four and under. Four times twelve years of grade school with five events per year. Carry the two. Have I mentioned that I’ll be unveiling a Kickstarter campaign shortly?

      • Make sure your kids join band, drama, and football. If you can get them IEPs as well, you’ll never have to work again!

  • Given the current state of affairs in DC, I’m not sure if this is a serious attempt to “enhance” FMLA or political maneuvering for the mid-term elections. Clearly family leave is a popular topic among NY politicians. Last month the junior Senator from NY began advancing a proposal calling for paid FMLA…and not to be out done, a proposal is being worked on by members of the NYS Senate calling for six weeks of paid family leave. As a business owner with employees I can’t help laughing every time I see a “NY is open for business” commercial on TV!

  • Anthony Bowser

    Eric – any indications in what you’ve seen as to whether this bill has a chance of garnering support?

    • Hi Anthony.

      I’d be very surprised if it passed in its current form — let alone piecemeal. Too many big changes to FMLA in one package.