FMLA Set to Expand

President Bush will most likely soon sign into law the first extension of benefits under the FMLA since its 1993 enactment.

The story is in an article this week at Workforce.com:

The FMLA expansion would enable spouses, children, parents or next of kin to wounded military service personnel to take 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their loved one. That's more than double the 12 weeks of time off for the birth or adoption of a child or the sickness of a close relative provided currently under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Resistance from corporate America made passage of the extension provision difficult, adding a further frustration for families who already face sometimes horrific recovery journeys, according to an advocate for broader leave laws.

"This was significant and historic," says Kate Kahan, director of work and family programs at the National Partnership for Women and Families. "On the other hand, it's only an extra three months of leave. This is just a small step in the right direction."

UPDATE: President Bush is planning a pocket veto of the bill for reasons unrelated to the FMLA provision. The consensus appears to be, however, that a bill with the FMLA expansion will be signed in the near future.