For the 20th Anniversary of the FMLA, the National Partnership for Women and Families urges changes to provide more employees with more protected leave to “advance the FMLA’s promise of a family friendly America.”

The amendments proposed include adoption of a national family and medical leave insurance program, funded by employer and employee contributions, to provide paid FMLA leave; lowering the coverage threshold to 25 or more workers; reducing the tenure and hours requirements to extend protection to part time and recently-hired workers; broadening the care giver relations to include domestic partners, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law and siblings; and broadening the purposes for which leave can be taken to include domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, school meetings, family member’s medical appointments and the death of a family member.

Through the years, numerous bills have been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives to expand protected leave under the FMLA. Currently pending are bills to allow employees to take FMLA leave for the death of a child. (S.226; H.R.515).