Shining a Spotlight on Paid Leave and Workflex as FMLA Turns 25



In the span of just two weeks, federal leave policy has gotten a lot of attention.

This week (Feb. 5) marks the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees employees time off to care for themselves and their families without fear of losing their job. Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Trump discussed a proposal to provide employees with paid parental leave.

We at SHRM appreciate the spotlight being shone on such an important issue for employers and employees alike, and HR professionals are shining a light on a modern approach to paid leave too—one that would help all employees manage their work-life needs.

Employers are focused on Workflex for All—that is, providing all employees a generous level of guaranteed paid leave they can use as they wish. That is a major reason why we have come together to support H.R 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act.

Introduced by Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., this bill will guarantee paid leave for all employees at participating employers that exceeds all state mandates. The bill will also provide workplace flexibility options like flexible scheduling or telecommuting to millions of employees for the first time—work arrangements that employees are increasingly demanding to help them meet all kinds of personal needs, from caring for their children to helping their elderly parents.

HR professionals pride themselves on being on the cutting edge of workplace policy, and the Workflex in the 21st Century Act modernizes paid leave policies and work arrangements to reflect the realities of the modern workplace. Simply put, the bill provides more time off for employees, more predictability for employers and more options for everyone. That’s why organizations from across the political spectrum—including the Progressive Policy Institute and the Republican Main Street Partnership—are supporting the bill.

The quarter-century anniversary of FMLA and the State of the Union remarks remind us that leave policy is an important national issue. SHRM is committed to advancing the Workflex in the 21st Century Act and ensuring that Workflex for All stays in the spotlight in 2018 and beyond.

Click here to join us in supporting this effort. 




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