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Bill would expand FMLA leave reasons

Legislative activities like this could signal a trend

Posted February 8, 2024

On January 30, 2024, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Lifesaving Leave Act of 2024 (S 3685). If enacted, the measure would amend the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees to take leave for bone marrow or blood stem cell donation.

Specifically, the bill would allow eligible employees to take a total of 40 nonconsecutive hours of unpaid FMLA leave during any 12-month period to donate and engage in the necessary pre-donation and post-donation activities for bone marrow and stem cell donation.

The bill is in the first step of the legislative process. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, which will consider the bill before sending it to the Senate floor for consideration. Senator Bob Casey [D-PA] is a member of the committee, so the bill will have his support.

Bills like this have a slim chance of being enacted, but they illustrate a trend of attempts to expand the FMLA beyond what it currently provides.

Therefore, employers do not need to take immediate action but should be aware of such congressional activity. Many states have laws that entitle employees to time off to donate bone marrow, organs, stem cells, or even blood. Employers need to be aware of the laws of the states in which employees work.

This article was written by Darlene Clabault of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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