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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2017 09:49 AM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Family Medical Leave Act (Previous HB 429)
For many Americans, the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has become a useful and necessary tool when dealing with a serious illness of a parent, child, or spouse. But what if the family member stricken ill is a sibling without a spouse or child? What if the family member is a grandparent with no children around to care for them in their final days? Now is the time to make simple but meaningful changes to the FMLA here in the Commonwealth.

In the near future, I plan to re-introduce House Bill 429 of last Session, which would extend family medical leave benefits to siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. Language in the bill is designed to ensure no one “double dips” and takes leave time from the federal and state extension program. It would also limit the amount of time to six weeks instead of twelve and only apply in those instances where the patient has no living spouse, parent, or child.

So, the impact on a business would be minimal but the positive effect it would have on the patient as well as the family member/caretaker would be enormous. The two are spending more time with each other during a difficult and painful time. This results in patients using the state less for a source of home assistance. Extending the FMLA to sibling, grandparents, and grandchildren when there is no other alternative is a “win” both for Pennsylvania and for the affected families.

I hope that you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB889