Workplace Fairness Supports Recently Introduced Job Protection Act
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Job Protection Act, new legislation to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 to more workers. Every year, nearly 2.6 million workers who need family or medical leave do not take it because they fear losing their jobs if they do and are currently ineligible for FMLA protections. Right now, only 56 percent of the U.S. workforce is protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Due to its relevance to our mission and work, Workplace Fairness supports the Job Protection Act. FMLA was a good first step, but the stories of everyday workers make clear that it’s time for FMLA for all. Over the past 29 years, workers have used the FMLA over 300 million times to provide care and heal. It is time to expand those protections to part-time workers and those at smaller employers.
Edgar Ndjatou, Executive Director of Workplace Fairness, says, "The past two years have shown us just how crucial job protection is to the success and safety of individuals, families and our economy. It's also important to note that women are especially impacted by lack of paid leave and gaps in FMLA due to their common role as both a caretaker and employee. Taking time off to care for yourself or a loved one shouldn't put your livelihood at risk, and that's why Workplace Fairness supports the Job Protection Act."
The Job Protection Act expands FMLA coverage to all workers and strengthens the law’s protections by:
- Expanding protections to those working for smaller employers by reducing the current FMLA coverage threshold from 50 employees to one employee. It also eliminates the requirement that a workplace have 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius, which currently excludes an estimated 33 million workers.
- Protecting part-time workers and those working multiple jobs by eliminating the requirement that an employee work 1,250 hours at a single workplace over the previous year. The hours requirement disproportionately impacts women—nearly two-thirds of part-time workers are women.
- Ensuring that people changing jobs or returning to the workforce will be protected by reducing the amount of time they must have worked at their workplace from 12 months to 90 days. This requirement excludes more than one in five workers, and especially large shares of women (23.3 percent), Hispanic workers (25.5 percent) and Black workers (25.8 percent).
About Workplace Fairness
Founded in 1994 as the National Employee Rights Institute, Workplace Fairness is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates and maintains a comprehensive, digital one-stop-shop for free and unbiased information about workers and their legal rights in the workplace. The organization provides resources on their award-winning website that resolve work-related issues and encourage policymakers, members of the business community and the public at large to view the fair treatment of workers as both good business practice and sound public policy.
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