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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2018 03:06 PM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion and Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Family Medical Leave Act
We plan to introduce legislation that would extend rights of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act to siblings, grandparents and grandchildren in certain, specific cases.

During the past several Session years, we have worked closely with a constituent of West Goshen Township, Chester County, who has shared with us her personal experience with regard to her sister, Joanne, who was diagnosed in 2008 with late stage gynecologic cancer. Because Joanne was unmarried and without children, her father was deceased, and her mother was elderly with her own health conditions; our constituent was the sole individual whom could care for her sister. Because she was a sibling, our constituent was not covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and she was denied coverage. Her only option was to leave her job of 16 years, which she did. Unfortunately, Joanne passed away in 2009.

Our legislation would provide up to six weeks of protected, unpaid leave to an employee to care for a sibling, grandparent or grandchild with a certified terminal illness if such sibling, grandparent or grandchild has no living spouse, no child over 17 years of age or no parent under 65 years of age.

This legislation will be similar to SB 479, PN 2053, of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session which was co-sponsored by the following Senators: Dinniman, Leach, Rafferty, Fontana, Schwank, Costa, Killion, Brewster, Tartaglione, Hughes, Sabatina, Browne, Laughlin and Ward.

Our constituent has long-supported this legislation, and presented testimony before the Senate Labor & Industry Committee during a public hearing held on April 17, 2018. SB 479, in its amended form, PN 2053, was unanimously approved by the Senate Labor & Industry Committee on October 1, 2018, but was not considered by the full Senate prior to the last scheduled voting Session day.

Please join us in supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as SB140