Kate Stromberg 0

Support Paid Parental Leave

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The purpose of this social action project is to move toward the creation of a federal mandate requiring paid parental leave in the United States. Many parents cannot afford to take time off of work without pay in order to care for their newborn children. By not providing new parents the financial leeway to properly care for and bond with their newborns or newly adopted children, the United States is sending a message to society about how little we value not just parenting, but the familial bond in this country. The idea of "parental" leave vs. "maternity" leave is to allow BOTH parents the opportunity to stay home with their newborn child, without the stress of losing two incomes. In 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law. The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks unpaid leave, job protected leave each year to eligible employees to care for: 1. a new born, newly-adopted, or foster child 2. a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition, or 3. a serious health condition of the employee, including maternity-related disability. On January 22, 2009, Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced a bill to amend the FMLA by providing that 4 of the 12 weeks of maternal/parental leave made available to Federal employee be paid. On June 4, 2009, the Congressional House of Representatives voted on, and passed, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009 (gotrack.us). This bill was passed by 254 Democrats and 24 Republicans. 149 Republicans and 5 Democrats voted against it. The Senate never voted on the bill and the President never signed the bill. Consequently, leaving the United States with no policy for paid maternity/parental leave. The purpose of this petition is to have Congress revise and revisit the FMLA amendment of 2009 to include 8 weeks of paid leave instead of 4 weeks. Your support is an essential part of keeping this bill alive and your signature can really make a difference!

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