Wisconsin should pass family leave laws


Historically Wisconsin has been a national leader on paid leave laws. In 1988, Wisconsin was one of the first states in the nation to pass a state family and medical leave act. Now, times have changed, and in within the last several years, there’s been a national resurgence of families demanding their states provide progressive family and medical leave packages so folks can care for their families.

One op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains:

It was great to read about Pittsburgh’s paid parental leave policy for city employees and how it benefited a new father after the birth of a child.

Gone are the days when paid leave means only maternity leave.

Men need time to care just as women do — and for ailing parents and partners as well as new children. They also need to be able to care for themselves.

Wisconsin has a long history of action to address the needs of working women and men. For example, in 1988, Wisconsin was one of the first states to create a state family and medical leave law.

Wisconsin’s leadership and that of more than 20 other states paved the way for the 1993 federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides 12 weeks of job job-protected leave for eligible employees of medium and large employers who need time to care for a new child, a seriously ill loved one or address their own serious health condition.

At the time, job protection without pay was a critical step. It established the principle that having a family shouldn’t cost you your job.

But job protection alone is not enough. Every year millions of workers who need and are eligible for FMLA don’t take the time or go back too soon — primarily because they can’t afford to leave without pay.

For more, visit, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel