Sinema, Ernst Introduce Bill Modernizing Family & Medical Leave

Aug 2, 2023

Senator’s bipartisan legislation ensures married Arizonans working for the same employer each receive the full 12 weeks they’ve earned when taking family and medical leave

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa) introduced their Fair Access for Individuals to Receive (FAIR) Leave Act, ensuring married Arizonans working for the same employer receive 12 weeks each when taking unpaid family and medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act law.
“We’re modernizing our medical and family leave laws so Arizona families can support each other, continue contributing to Arizona’s growing economy, and strengthen workforce participation across our state. Whether Arizona couples working for the same company need to take leave to care for their children, for their own health needs, or to provide care to an elderly parent or an injured servicemember, our new bill addresses an unfair limitation in the current law,” said Sinema.
“American families fuel our nation’s workforce, and I’m supporting those balancing work and home,” said Ernst. “This important provision would support our working parents by making leave fair for families and extend equal benefits to couples regardless of their employer. My bipartisan bill goes beyond new parents by providing time to care for a sick family member, including our heroic servicemembers. By increasing opportunities for parental leave, we can care for our next generation and keep our workforce strong.”
Sinema and Ernst’s FAIR Leave Act modernizes and builds on the Family and Medical Leave Act law which requires employers to provide an employee 12 weeks of paid family and medical. However, if a married couple works for the same employer, they are only allowed to take 12 weeks in total between the couple, instead of 12 weeks each. The Senators’ legislation modernizes this current law, so married Arizonans working for the same employer may receive 12 weeks each of paid family and medical leave each, or 26 weeks to care for an injured servicemember.