WASHINGTON, DC. — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter demonstrated her unwavering commitment to workers and families by introducing the Family and Medical Leave Restoration Act. This bill repeals certain restrictive rules regarding the use of Family and Medical Leave that were enacted during the previous administration.
“The Family and Medical Leave Act helps ensure that workers do not have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a loved one or themselves,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “My bill will restore the Family and Medical Leave Act to its original intent and spirit.”
Since its enactment in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has helped workers and family members balance the responsibilities of the workplace with their or their families’ medical needs. The leave is unpaid, but it gives workers the necessary time off in a medical crisis.
Specifically, the Family and Medical Leave Restoration Act will:
Restore protections that prevent an employer from forcing an employee from using more incremental FMLA leave than is medically necessary;
Reverse limitations placed on the use of accrued paid leave while on FMLA;
Restore the prohibition on denying attendance bonuses as a consequence for taking FMLA leave;
Restore protections that prohibit the waiving of an employee’s FMLA rights without review and approval by the Department of Labor or the courts;
Restore protections that prohibit an employer from approving or denying FMLA leave based on compliance or non-compliance with employer leave request policies;
Restore employee privacy by reversing regulations that would allow an employer to directly contact an employee’s medical provider;
Restore previous “fitness-for-duty” certification rules for employees who take intermittent leave;
Direct the Secretary to revise the Bush regulations to revisit the new, burdensome treatment and recertification timelines imposed by the previous Department of Labor, and
Direct the Secretary to revise the provided medical certification template to include the definition of a “serious health condition.”
In November 2008, the Department of Labor issued final regulations that severely restrict access to Family and Medical Leave. Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s bill is needed in order to reverse the most restrictive of these new regulations.