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Murray Statement on 23rd Anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act

Murray vows to continue fighting to strengthen family leave policies


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). President Clinton signed FMLA into law on February 5, 1993, allowing workers to take unpaid leave to care for themselves or a sick family member without the fear of losing their jobs.


“More than two decades ago, working families had no guarantee that they’d still have a job after taking time off work to recover after a serious health condition or care for a newborn. I experienced this when I was 26, working as an executive secretary in Seattle. At the time, even though I was working out of economic necessity, there were no options for working mothers.


“No one should be forced to choose between keeping their job or taking care of a loved one during a family crisis. As a state senator in Washington I fought for family leave, and I am proud that one of my first votes in the U.S. Senate was for the groundbreaking Family and Medical Leave Act.


“FMLA was an important step forward, but after 23 years, we need to do much more and update leave policies. So, as we commemorate this anniversary, I will continue my work to strengthen family leave, put families first, and expand economic security for workers in Washington state and across the country.”