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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2022 05:36 PM
From: Senator Christine M. Tartaglione and Sen. John I. Kane, Sen. Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Family Medical Leave Act
We will soon re-introduce legislation that would extend rights of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to siblings, grandparents and grandchildren in certain, specific cases.

This legislation has been circulated during the past several legislative sessions. It has been championed by a resident of West Goshen Township, Chester County, who has shared her personal experience of 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, her sister was the sole individual who could care for Joanne. Because she was a sibling, Joanne’s sister was not covered under FMLA, 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 bill was SB 617 of the 2021-2022 session. Members who co-sponsored this legislation previously include Senators Hughes, Street, Fontana, Santarsiero, Kearney, Collett, Cappelletti, Costa, Comitta, Saval, Haywood, Schwank, and Dillon.   

Joanne’s sister has long-supported this legislation and presented testimony before the Senate Labor & Industry Committee during a public hearing held on April 17, 2018. In 2022, SB 617 passed the Senate overwhelmingly but received no further legislative action in the House of Representatives.

No Pennsylvanian should have to choose between caring for a loved one and their personal livelihood. Please join us in supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as SB64