The Creation of FMLA

Mary Hultgren

Step 1: Recognizing the Problem/Setting the Agenda


The number of single parent households is rising rapidly.

During the period of childrearing, it is appropriate that both parents be involved equally.

Parents are having to choose between their jobs and their children.

There is not enough security of jobs for people who have serious health conditions.

Gender discrimination can be very prevalent.


To make life less about the workplace and more about family values (in certain scenarios).

To allow people to leave work for medical reasons or the birth or adoption of a child.

To hear the interests and needs of the employers.

To make work equal for women and men alike.

Step 2: Formulating the Policy

The Women’s Legal Defense Fund wrote the first draft for the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1984. It took 9 years to pass this policy, and it was very difficult for them to get support for it. The Women’s Legal Defense Fund advocated for the FMLA passionately, but the Republican president at that time did not approve. In both 1991 and 1992 Congress passed FMLA, while President H.W. Bush vetoed it both times. When President Clinton, a Democrat, came into office, it did not take long for the FMLA to be passed bipartisan.
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The Women's Legal Defense Fund were the primary catalysts to getting the FMLA policy into action.

Step Three: Adopting the Policy

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was passed in both Congress and with the President in 1993, after 9 years of attempting to pass this policy. It was passed in January of 1993. The president at the time was Bill Clinton, and it was his first policy passed while he was in office. This policy regulates when employees can take extended leave from their job. The Senate vote was 71-27 in favor of the FMLA, and the House of Representatives vote was 272-163 in favor of the FMLA.
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The stress of many people decreased when Bill Clinton signed the FMLA in January of 1993.

Step Four: Implementing the Policy

The Department of Labor will put regulations in place dealing with the Family and Medical Act. The FMLA will only be a help to people and companies that meet certain criteria within the policy. An employee eligible for FMLA must work for a covered employer for at least one year with at least 1,250 hours of service. The employer is considered covered if it is a private company with at least 50 employees, a public agency, or a public/private elementary or secondary school. The number of employees involved in the public agency and the public/private schools do not matter in this case.
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These would be the requirements a person would have to meet in order to qualify for FMLA.

Step Five: Evaluating the Policy

There are multiple benefits to FMLA. It creates a family-friendly workplace that allows individuals to take time off of work for unforeseen reasons, such as a sickness or death. Another benefit is employees not having to worry about losing their jobs for extended time off. It reduces anxiety for the employees worrying about missing a lengthy amount of work. It also relieves stress for employees who are expecting to take off, such as women who are expecting or for people who are going into surgery. It provides a balance between work life and personal life if a person needed time off. These are many significant benefits that have nothing to do with any outside pay, but rather about peace of mind.
Allowing people to qualify for FMLA made it easier for people to take off extended time if needed without having to stress about it, as shown in the images above.