WASHINGTON, DC – Former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) released the following statement today on the twentieth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This legislation, which Dodd authored and shepherded into law over a seven year period, has allowed more than 100 million men and women to care for newborn children, sit at the bedside of sick loved ones, or care for a family member recovering from major surgery without fear of losing their job or benefits.
Dodd co-authored the Family and Medical Leave Act with Republican Senator Kit Bond (R-MO). The legislation overcame two presidential vetoes before President Bill Clinton signed it into law on February 5, 1993.
In recent years, the law has been expanded to allow military families time off from work to care for our brave men and women as they return home from war.
“Today, twenty years later, it is hard to imagine a time before the Family and Medical Leave Act existed. During difficult economic times, with many Americans concerned about job security, home values, paying for college and saving for retirement, knowing that you will have your job and health insurance to come back to if you have to deal with a family emergency is one less worry families have to face,” said Dodd.
“And in these days of partisan gridlock, let the Family and Medical Leave Act’s seven year struggle serve as a lesson to both sides of how bipartisanship can still work. This law would not exist today were it not for the dedicated efforts of people such as Kit Bond, Dan Coats, Ted Kennedy and Arlen Specter who put the well-being of America’s families above partisan politics. Together we proved that it was possible for Republicans and Democrats to come together and find common ground on the important issues that facing our country," Dodd continued.