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Take Action for More Affordable Family Leave

The US Labor Department (DOL) has recently proposed regulations to make family leave more affordable through Unemployment Insurance (UI). The regulations would let each state decide whether to use its UI law to allow people to collect unemployment while they are on parental leave. Unfortunately those regulations would cover only limited reasons for family leave--birth of a newborn or adoption--but it an important first step. Although the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has helped at least 24 million Americans, far too many American workers are still unable to take FMLA leave because it is unpaid, even when their families need them most. Nearly two-thirds of employees who did not take needed leave cited lost wages as the primary reason.

The DOL is accepting public comments on this proposal until Feb. 2. It is crucial that both DOL and members of Congress hear from people who support the proposal.

There are 3 ways to take action:

  1. Send an e-mail to: It would be helpful to cc the National Partnership for Women and Families ( as well as your Senators and Representatives.
  2. Mail a letter to Grace A. Kilbane, Director, Unemployment Insurance Service, US Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-4231, Washington, DC 20210. Mail a copy to your Senators (Senator XX, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510) and Representative (Representative XX, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515).
  3. Go to the National Partnership for Women & Families website,, and click on the link to "Comment on New Proposal to Help Parents Make Ends Meet!" and following the directions there. Please also follow the link there to the "Take Action" section of the website, where you can click on "Send a Message to Congress and the President" and find a sample letter to send to your Senators and Representatives as well.


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