Tuesday, May 29, 2012

AB 2039: Expanding the Definition of Family Under CFRA -- Immediate Help Needed

For the last two years, Sandre Swanson (D-16) has introduced legislation to expand the definition of family under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

The definition of "family" under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) currently includes caring for parents, children under the age of 18 or a spouse.

Most people are surprised to learn that siblings, adult children and grandparents are excluded at this time.

Last year, I wrote a post about this issue but felt I wasn’t doing enough. The “advocacy” part of Robert’s Sister wanted to do more but the bill introduced last year died in the Assembly. I kept in contact with Jenya Cassidy, a California Policy Director for the Labor Project for Working Families, which is an organization steadfast in their support of the expanded definition of family as well as other issues affecting working families. 

I offered to assist in any way possible when AB 2039 was introduced this year.

Last week, Jenya and Netsy Firestein, Executive Director of the Labor Project for Working Families, asked me to join them in talking with a few staff members of the Assembly. AB 2039 was in the Appropriations Committee and they were doing what they could to get it passed out of the committee and on to the Assembly Floor.

I enthusiastically joined Jenya and Netsy and spoke to a staff member of the Speaker of the Assembly. It was exciting to be at the Capitol (although I think the hordes of elementary school children on their field trip to the Capitol may have slightly beat me in the excitement department).

We left information for another Assembly Member and crossed our fingers the bill would make it out of the “approps” committee. Ms. Firestein shared this was Assemblyman Swanson’s third time trying to get this bill passed and she optimistically enthused, “Third time may be the charm!”

Her optimism paid off – the bill made it out of committee and to the Assembly floor and is expected to come up for a vote by the entire State Assembly this week (as early as today!).

In order to continue this momentum and move this expanded definition of family further along the process, your help is immediately needed.

Join me in supporting AB 2039 by either calling or faxing your Assembly Member and asking for their vote in support of AB 2039. You can find your Assembly Member here

Thank you for your support of AB 2039 and, let’s hope, the third time really is the charm!


Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

You are a Hero, Trish!! I'm awed by your commitment & will do whatever I can to help. Is this a bill that the assembly passes or will it go to ballot?

Heidi & Atticus

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Heidi, The bill is in the Senate Rules Committee right now (it won't go to ballot). I appreciate your offer and will keep you posted on what else can be done. Thanks!