[Excerpt] Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as a means of helping individuals more easily balance their family and work obligations. Over the past few decades, married mothers with young children increasingly have strived to fulfill both workplace and child-rearing obligations. With the enactment of welfare reform legislation, greater numbers of single parents also have had to meet the challenge of caring for their children while holding down jobs. Further, the aging of the population and lengthening life spans have made it more likely that workers will assume caregiving duties for elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors.
This report begins with a brief overview of the major features of the FMLA and its regulations. The various proposals made to amend the act since its inception are then categorized and discussed. It closes with a review of legislative activity.