My kids love nothing more than a party. Whether it’s planning their own birthday or celebrating with their buddies, my kids are party animals.
And right now we have something big to celebrate! This year the Family Medical Leave Act turns 20, which is a big deal for parents and kids. FMLA was the first and only law of its kind in the US to recognize all the roles we play as parents, spouses, children, and as employees.
It has been used over 100 million times in the last 20 years by women and men taking job-protected leave to welcome a new baby, take care of a family member with a serious illness, or manage their own serious or chronic illnesses. Because of FMLA, many parents have been able to spend those precious early days with their children bonding, establishing breastfeeding, and recovering from childbirth.
Others have been able to be at the bedside of a sick child, spouse, or parent when they were needed. And still others have been able to take the time they needed to get better themselves.
That’s reason to celebrate!
You and your kids are invited to a 20th birthday party for the FMLA at Marbles Kids Museum sponsored by NC MomsRising, NC Families Care, and the NC Justice Center.
Here’s all the details:
What: A kid-friendly birthday celebration of the Family Medical Leave Act! There will be crafts, games, birthday cake, and a photo booth. We’ll also be honoring N.C. lawmakers who have led the way in supporting family-friendly workplace policies here at the state level.
When: 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 24
Where: Marbles Children’s Museum in Raleigh.
Cost: The party is free! It will be held in one of the main activity rooms downstairs at the museum. Admission to the museum is extra. Marbles' admission is $5 per person.
RSVP: Let us know if you can join us! RSVP to Beth@momsrising.org so we can be sure to have enough cake.
It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate how far we’ve come!
At the same time, we know that the FMLA leaves out far, far too many families who are ineligible to take FMLA and a significant portion of those who are eligible but can’t afford to take it because it’s unpaid. In the United States, only 11 percent of employees have any kind of paid family leave, a main reason why having a baby is a leading cause of poverty spells in this country. (Want to know more about FMLA and who it covers? Click here).
The good news is that we're starting to see some momentum for paid family leave both nationally and on the ground in states. So while we celebrate the first twenty years, we’ll also be pointing out the gaps that still exist and building support for policies that will help all of us meet both our family and our work responsibilities.
We hope you can join us!
Beth Messersmith is a Durham mother of two and NC Campaign Director for MomsRising.org.