Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thank You Bill Clinton

So I'm back at work after a month of chilling with Mrs. T and new Baby T, and I just wanted to say thank heavens for the Family Medical Leave Act. More specifically, thank you, Bill Clinton.

FMLA is, of course, the law that lets you take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to take care of family health issues, such as a newborn or serious medical condition. It's far from perfect (lots of paperwork involved, and there's plenty of loopholes that an employer can exploit), but it's basically a great law.

Some folks might think that a law that allows you to take care of your family's health situations is pro-family, but you'd be wrong. In fact, the pro-family HW Bush vetoed the legislation twice. Wasn't until the Big Dog got in office that the law was enacted; in fact, it was one of the very first pieces of legislation he signed (a good primer is at wiki). If you check out the roll call on the vote, the family-hating democrats were overwhelmingly for it, while the republicans were overwhelmingly against it.

Courtesy of rebeldad, I see that the present admin is asking for comments on FMLA. They may want to mess with it, seeing as how some employers don't like the idea of their employees lazing around the house with their newborns or sick family members, but I think that'd be a huge mistake. I think they'll find that FMLA has joined the ranks of overwhelmingly popular family-friendly laws written and enacted by democrats. Any criticism of it will be that it doesn't go far enough -- paid sick leave, anyone?

To recap, thank you to Bill Clinton and the democrats who made FMLA happen. And "F-U" to anyone who wants to mess with it.


Scott said...

Congratulations, by the way, to the whole "T" family.

We'll be getting ourselves some FMLA love too, since my company's idea of paternity leave is "allowing me to use my vacations back-to-back".

S.W. Anderson said...

The Republicans/conservatives' contempt for family leave parallels their attitude about abortion and having to help provide for other people's kids. They seem to be all for fetuses, but once a kid is born, he or she had better have good providers and child rearers for parents. That's because, in the right wingers' view, the idea it takes a village is just nauseating, bleeding-heart liberal nonsense.