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Today Marks 20th Anniversary of George Allen’s Vote Against Family and Medical Leave Act


From the Kaine campaign:

Kaine for Virginia
September 10, 2012 

Kaine for Virginia Press Office
(804) 359-7106


Allen called legislation “harmful, interfering, counterproductive” 
Richmond, VA – Two decades ago, George Allen had the opportunity to support legislation that provides women time off after childbirth or employees time off to care for a sick relative.  What did George Allen say about the Family And Medical Leave Act to justify his vote against it?  He said it was “harmful, interfering, counterproductive legislation.”

According to the National Women's Law Center, since the Family And Medical Leave Act became law, close to 80 million workers have taken advantage of the law, with women representing 58 percent of the beneficiaries.  

“George Allen's failure to support the Family and Medical Leave Act, which ensures no parent will have to choose between caring for a sick child and their job, is yet another sign that he does not have the best interests of Virginia's families at heart,” said Kaine for Virginia communications director Brandi Hoffine. “For hundreds of thousands of Virginia families, the FMLA isn't 'harmful' or 'counterproductive,' it's a fundamental protection that provides certainty to hard-working Virginia families who admirably balance responsibilities at their job and at home. For decades, Tim Kaine has advocated support for women and their families across Virginia and will continue to do so as a U.S. Senator.”

George Allen Had “Strong Opposition” To FMLA, Said “I Implore The House To Stop Meddling In Matters Which Are Not Its Concern.” In September 1992 George Allen said of the Family and Medical Leave Act: “Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill. Unpaid leave to give birth or adopt a child or to care for a sick family member is certainly desirable, and I would encourage businesses to offer such a benefit. However, let us examine this congressional edict. First and foremost the Government has no right to dictate employment contract provisions onto the free enterprise system. This legislation places an enormous financial burden on small businesses, and it would lead to the loss of many jobs because employers can't afford this expensive Federal mandate. This intrusive mandate can adversely affect efficiency and productivity in all business, large or small. Aside from costing the American economy thousands of jobs, this misguided bill can discourage employers from hiring people during their child-bearing years or with sick relatives. In addition, the cost of complying with this mandate will prevent employers from providing other more desirable benefits for all employees, such as health care coverage. Many employers already offer some kind of family leave benefit, as well as other important benefits, in order to compete for the best employees. But, this is a matter which should be negotiated between employers and employees. This Congress has already done enough to harm the economy and cost Americans their jobs. I implore the House to stop meddling in matters which are not its concern, and I urge my colleagues to vote down this harmful, interfering, counterproductive legislation.” [Congressional Record, 9/10/92]





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