Rep. Maloney Introduces Family & Medical Leave Inclusion Act to Cover Same-Sex Couples under FMLA

Jun 20, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan & Queens) today introduced H.R. 2792, the "Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act" (FMLIA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation includes couples in domestic partnerships, civil unions, and same-sex marriages under the terms of the landmark 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. The Human Rights Campaign, a leading national advocacy organization for LGBT rights, strongly supports the bill.

“The Family and Medical Leave Act is an extraordinarily successful measure that allows families to provide much-needed care to loved ones. Current law unfairly penalizes same-sex couple who also seek to care for family members. The legislation I am introducing today will enable people in a committed relationship to take time to care for an ailing partner, just as married couples can under current federal law,” said Congresswoman Maloney, who authored and introduced New York City’s first-ever domestic partnership legislation as a Member of the City Council in 1986.

Representative Maloney introduced the measure today with bipartisan backing, including original co-sponsors Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Christopher Shays (R-CT), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). Congresswoman Woolsey chairs the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protection, where Maloney’s measure will be referred.

Enacted in 1993, the historic Family and Medical Leave Act protects workers from employer sanctions if they need time off from work to care for a sick spouse, parent, or child. The legislation applies to workers in companies with more than 50 employees. Maloney's amendment to the Act would expand the protections in the original law to domestic partners and others, including grandparents, siblings, and in-laws. In supporting similar legislation introduced by Rep. Maloney in the last congress, the Human Rights Campaign wrote to Members of Congress, “...many gay and lesbian Americans are unable to take time off from work in family emergencies for fear of losing their jobs... Representative Maloney’s bill would correct this inequity by extending coverage under the FMLA to people taking leave to care for their domestic partner or same-sex married partner with a serious health condition. This legislation represents simple fairness and we urge you to become an original cosponsor...” (Emphasis contained in original HRC letter, January 11, 2005).

Throughout her career, Maloney has been a strong ally of the LGBT community and a leading advocate of equality and human rights. One of just a handful of House Members who have publicly announced support for marriage equality for same-sex couples, she has written and introduced the FMLIA legislation for five sessions of Congress since 1999.

Founded in 1980, the Human Rights Campaign is a leading LGBT civil rights organization that works toward equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. It endeavors to educate and engage all Americans to achieve a nation that fulfills its promise of justice and liberty for all. Among the many issues it addresses are hate crimes, advancing public policy on HIV/AIDS, and protecting LGBT families.

In each congress, HRC rates federal elected officials on their voting records on LGBT issues. For her longstanding commitment to and effective leadership on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, Maloney has consistently earned perfect 100% ratings from HRC.

To read the text of the bill, click here.

To read an endorsement letter of HR 2792 from The Human Rights Campaign, click here.

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