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The year is 1987. Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now is playing in malls across America, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey open movie-goers’ eyes to illegal abortion in Dirty Dancing, the Senate rejects Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and young feminists in living rooms across the nation find a new role model in Lisa Simpson.
At the same time, Maine workers could be fired, demoted, or retaliated against if they missed work to care for a newborn.
Luckily the Maine Women’s Lobby was there, and a year later Maine became one of the first states in the nation to enact a family and medical leave law – providing unpaid but job-protected leave for thousands of new parents as well as workers dealing with serious illness.
Fast-forward to 1993 as President Clinton takes a page from Maine by signing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law. The federal FMLA guarantees eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, help a seriously ill family member, or to recover from their own serious health conditions. (Maine law is a little different because it covers more workers but offers less time.)
Have you benefitted from either Maine’s or the federal FMLA? Tell us about it!
Many Mainers have used FMLA leave for the birth of a new baby, to support a spouse struggling with an illness, to care for an elderly parent, and so much more. Sharing your experience will help us show the importance of the law for workers everywhere.
We want to hear your story. Please email Kathy at email@example.com or call 207.622.0851 x25 today.We’ll be sharing more information about the 20th Anniversary of FMLA throughout 2013.