A bill recently proposed in Congress would guarantee you time off before your service member deploys no matter what kind of job you have.
Right now you are guaranteed two weeks of time off under a federal law if you are a full-time employee of a company with more than 50 workers. If you're part-time or work for a small company you have no such protection. Your boss may be kind and give you the time off anyway, but he doesn't have to.
Enter this proposed law. It would extend those same protections to all workers, regardless of company size or employee status. And, like the current law, it would apply to any deployment, regardless of branch, active duty, Guard, or Reserve. Deployment orders? Under the proposed bill you would get time off. The end.
Here's the catch (because there's always a catch, right?) -- this isn't the first time they've tried to pass this legislation. An almost identical law was proposed last year and promptly died. Bummer. In fact, no changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act have happened for military families or active duty members in several years, despite some pretty awesome ones being proposed.
Under a proposed bill military families members would be guaranteed two weeks of unpaid leave regardless of whether they were full or part-time or the size of the company for which they work. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)
For example, we told you last year about a bill proposed that would extend unpaid time off for service member new moms from six weeks to 12. What ended up happening with that? Nothing. It died.
If they are going to pass, bills like this newly proposed one and last year's military mom bill eventually get rolled into the huge, action packed annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). That's the law that could end up producing big headlines like "Congress votes to overhaul Tricare" or "Military life will end as you know it." Comparatively smaller things like this leave idea could get stuck in there, too.
And if that happens, we'll let you know about it. For now you can tell your representatives what you think about this bill over here.
(Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)