President Biden accompanied by Bill Clinton, VP Harris to mark 30th anniversary of Family and Medical Leave Act

On Thursday, The Biden administration marked the 30 year anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by looking to expand the law.  President Clinton, who signed the FMLA into law in 1993, was invited to The White House to deliver a speech.

The bill mandates certain employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if any of their staff fall ill, have a new child in their household or are the carer of a family member, without facing the possibility of losing their job.

Biden on Thursday issued a memo urging the heads of federal agencies to “support access to leave without pay for Federal employees” so that they can spend quality time with their new children or look after either their own health or that of their family members.

Biden’s memo also requested that federal agency leaders to consider allowing their employees to access leave within the first year of their employment. At this stage, federal employees only qualify for leave after 1 full year of service.

“Get cancer after six months? Your wife, your husband [does?] … Look, I’m a great respecter of fate. And I know all too well you can’t schedule when your loved one might need your help badly,” Biden said in his speech on Thursday.

Biden also issued a directive to the Office of Personnel Management to help federal employees “find safety from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking,” which Biden dubbed “safe leave.”

Former President Bill Clinton said that the FMLA is the action that people most often mention to him since he left office. Clinton said he remembers one lady who told him that FMLA allowed her to be a carer for her parents, who were both dying at the same time.

“She said, ‘I know how your families, how your parents die is an important family value.’ It was breathtaking. I never get on a shuttle after 20 years that I don’t think about that woman,” Clinton said.

Vice President Kamala Harris also said that she was able to help her mother when she was suffering from breast cancer.

“I spent many hours with her at the hospital and driving her to and from chemotherapy appointments. Fortunately, however, I had the type of job then where I could take the time I needed to be with my mother, but far too many others cannot,” she said. “And let us be clear: In America, in the 21st century, every worker should be able to take time off to care for themselves or for the people they love.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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