Cora W. Minnesota

Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act needs to mandate a partial to full paid leave instead of unpaid leaves.

Dear Future President,

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that I believe is very important because more and more women are joining the work force. Theoretically, this means with more women at work there is more of an equal division of responsibilities at home. Under the Family Medical Leave Act workers for companies with 50 or more employees are allowed 12 weeks leave without pay or loss of their jobs for the birth or adoption of children. This is a very important law for the parents in the work world who need to take care of their children while still supporting them financially. Something this law does not cover is a paid leave. I strongly believe the Family Medical Leave Act should be mandated and provide at least half to full pay for the time off work.

During WWII women were pulled out of their homes to do the jobs men left behind for the war. However, when the war was over the women were sent back home and the men took over again. At this time there would have been no need for the Family Medical Leave Act, let alone leave with pay. In Europe, after WWII, they were trying to build up their population again as well as replenish their destroyed infrastructure. As an incentive to get more women into the work force and to have children, they offered paid maternity leave. Times have drastically changed. In the United States, currently almost half of two-parent households, both parents now work full-time. As well as in 40% of families with children, the mother is the primary economic supporter. In addition, fathers who are in the work force are taking more responsibilities with childcare. These facts call for change. Hard-working United States citizens need mandated paid leaves. I respect what this law already entitles but, parents need to be able to take care of their families while still financially supporting them. In my opinion employees that are mandated to take a leave from work, trust their employment will still be waiting for them and be partially if not totally reimbursed will make stronger workers.

Some states have already started to enact a paid family leave law. California is just one of four states that offers a portion of workers’ wages on family leave. New Jersey and Rhode Island offer the same amount or wage reimbursement as California and starting in 2018 New York will as well. Washington State has passed the law but never funded it. The United States is the only country among 41 developed nations that does not mandate paid leave for either parent. For example, Canada and France mandate over 20 weeks of paid leave. Germany offers over 40 weeks of paid leave and Japan offers over 60 weeks of paid leave.

The current FMLA, which is unpaid, does not allow all people to use this right. Many families cannot financially afford time off. The FMLA with pay needs to be mandated by the federal government. This act could be funded as New York has done, by a one dollar per week payroll tax per employee. The one-dollar payroll tax per week per employee does not negatively affect the businesses or employees. Paid leave will actually help businesses positively by improving long-term efficiency, recruitment, retaining employees, and motivation from employees. This will result in a more prosperous work force, which will make employers happy as well.


Andrews, Michelle. “California Fails To Extend Family Leave Rights For Parents At Small Businesses.” NPR. NPR, 11 Oct. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

“California Expands Paid Family Leave Law to Increase Time-Off Pay.” WSJ., 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

Kurtzleben, Danielle. “Lots Of Other Countries Mandate Paid Leave. Why Not The U.S.?” NPR. NPR, 15 July 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

Livingston, Gretchen. “Among 41 Nations, U.S. Is the Outlier When It Comes to Paid Parental Leave.” Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

Picture Citation

Livingston, Gretchen. “Among 41 Nations, U.S. Is the Outlier When It Comes to Paid Parental Leave.” Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

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