Massachusetts Family Leave Act

Update 6/19/2017:
I would like to thank state Rep. Christopher Markey for adding his support to this important bill.

What happens when someone in your family is sick and needs you to take care of them? For many families, caring for mom is a labor of love. But it can also mean a crippling loss of income.

According to the Coalition for Social Justice, nearly 40% of Massachusetts workers (1.2 million) are excluded from job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) because they work for companies with fewer than 50 employees. And 87% of Massachusetts employees have no access to paid leave at all becasue the FMLA’s unpaid leave is not a financially viable option, particularly for low-income and single parent households.

You can take your sick mom into your house, but only if you can earn enough money to keep the house.

A joint bill in the Massachusetts legislature wants to fix that. The state’s Family Leave Act was filed again this year by its original sponsors:

“An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program”

Two bills, MA Senate Bill S.1048 by Sen. Karen E. Spilka and House Bill H.2172 by Rep. Kenneth I. Gordon, replace previous versions of Senate and House bills, S.1008 and H.1718.

You can find a nice writeup with more details on the Family Leave Act on the Coalition’s website:

Here on the Massachusetts SouthCoast, Senator Mark. Montigny has co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill, and Reps. Christopher Markey (Dartmouth), Antonio Cabral (New Bedford), Gerard Cassidy (Brockton), Julian Cyr (Cape), Michelle DuBois (Brockton), Dylan Fernandes (Falmouth), Carole Fiola (Fall River), Patricia Haddad (Somerset), Paul Heroux (Attleboro), Robert Koczera (New Bedford), Marc Pacheco (Taunton), Paul Schmid (Westport), Alan Silvia (Fall River). William Straus (Mattapoisett), and Walter Timilty (Bridgewater) have co-sponsored the House version of the Family Leave Act.

Wherever you reside in the state, your representative needs to hear how important this bill is.