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U.S. House Votes 'Yes' on FMLA for Flight Attendants

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Union YesIn December we alerted our members about a bill introduced in the Congress to extend to Flight Attendants the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted by a wide margin - 402 to 9 - to pass the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, H.R. 2744.

The bill now moves to the Senate where our own Sen. Elizabeth Dole has yet to sign on to this important pro-family legislation.

FMLA was intended to provide all flight attendants, like other full-time employees, with the ability to take time off from work to take care of family members facing serious illness. However, employers and the courts have narrowly defined the "full-time" requirement of FMLA to mean the traditional 40 hour work week. Since airlines choose not to give flight attendants credit for their time between trips, even those on the same day of work, it can be difficult if not impossible for them to meet the annual threshold of 1,250 hours.

"For years, AFA-CWA has had to negotiate flight attendants’ right to have access to this important coverage that millions of Americans are automatically guaranteed. This important bill finally brings fairness and equity to the thousands of unique individuals who provide an essential service to our nation," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA President in a press release.

Call NC Senator Elizabeth Dole 202-224-6342

A Senate version of the bill, S. 2059, introduced by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), has 26 bipartisan cosponsors. Sen. Dole is not one of them. You can help flight attendants gain FMLA protection by urging her to become a cosponsor of S. 2059.

Every North Carolinian is a constituent of Senator Elizabeth Dole, and she needs to hear from all of us that Senate Bill 2059 is a priority for working families.

Here's a sample phone script:

My name is ___________ and I am calling as a voter in your state [and a flight attendant]. I am asking that the Senator co-sponsor S. 2059, The Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act.

Senate Bill 2059 is important pro-family legislation. This bill is a priority for all flight crew members, and it’s a priority for me. I would really appreciate the Senator’s support of S. 2059.

The North Carolina State AFL-CIO stands in strong support of the Flight Attendants of AFA-CWA Local 89 in their bid to gain the same protections under FMLA that other working families depend on in times of crisis. Please show your support for them by calling Sen. Dole, today!