Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Two decades on, small businesses strongly support Family and Medical Leave Act

Cross-posted from Washington Work and Family Coalition:

On 20th Anniversary of FMLA, small businesses overwhelminly support [Photo: Atelier Tee via Flickr Creative Commons]

On 20th Anniversary of FMLA, small businesses overwhelminly support [Photo: Atelier Tee via Flickr Creative Commons]

Two decades since the Family Medical Leave Act became the law of the land, scientific opinion polling released Tuesday shows small business owners strongly support the law, which allows eligible employees of covered employers a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The law went into effect on Feb. 5, 1993.

“I don’t think my employees should have to choose between keeping their job and handling an important personal emergency,” said Christine Chin Ryan, president of Synergy Consulting, Inc. in Portland, Ore. “The Family Medical Leave Act is significant, because it shows that we understand our workers are not just contributing to the success of our businesses and economy, but also to the wellbeing of themselves and their families.”

The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of Small Business Majority from Jan. 24-Feb. 1, 2013, found that 80 percent of small employers support the Family Medical Leave Act, which allows an employee unpaid time off for family or medical reasons such as a serious personal illness, the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a seriously ill family member or for qualifying reasons arising out of a family member being an active member of the military. The results of the poll also show support for the law crosses party lines. A majority of respondents—51 percent— identified as Republican, with 34 percent identifying as Democrat and 13 percent as independent.

“Small employers know policies like this create a happier and more productive staff, which in turn leads to increased profits,” said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. “Many small business owners think of their employees as family, so it’s not surprising they support a policy that enables them to foster a better workforce while protecting their workers and their bottom line.”

To read the full report visit Small Business Majority’s website:

Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with our rapidly growing network of small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate. Learn more about us on Wikipedia and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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