Family and Medical Leave Act

Harrisburg, PA – June 15, 2022  Today, Senate Bill 617, legislation sponsored by Senator Christine Tartaglione, which would extend federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections to siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren in certain and specific cases passed the Senate by a vote of 47-3. The passage comes one day after the bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously.

“This is an important step forward for the workers of Pennsylvania.” Said Tartaglione. “Ensuring workers can take care of their family and loved ones without having to sacrifice their professional life and career provides workers with the needed assurance that, if need be, they can provide care and support to the people around them without being forced out of the workforce.”

This legislation provides up to six weeks of protected, unpaid leave to an employee so that they may care for a sibling, grandparent, or grandchild with a certified terminal illness if such sibling, grandparent, or grandchild has no living spouse, no child over 17 years of age or no parent under 65 years of age.

This legislation was championed by Anne Marie Pearson since her sister Joanne became terminally ill in 2008. Anne was forced to choose between caring for her sister or keeping her job since she was not covered by the current FMLA rules, and no other family member was able to care for Joanne.

“I want to thank my colleagues for their support of the workers like Anne and their families like Joanne that are in all corners of Pennsylvania. Ensuring workers don’t need to choose between their jobs and their families is good for all Pennsylvanians.” Said Tartaglione.

Senate Bill 617 now heads to the Pennsylvania House for its consideration.