On January 30, 2024, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Lifesaving Leave Act of 2024 (S 3685). If enacted, the measure would amend the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees to take leave for bone marrow or blood stem cell donation.
Specifically, the bill would allow eligible employees to take a total of 40 nonconsecutive hours of unpaid FMLA leave during any 12-month period to donate and engage in the necessary pre-donation and post-donation activities for bone marrow and stem cell donation.
The bill is in the first step of the legislative process. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, which will consider the bill before sending it to the Senate floor for consideration. Senator Bob Casey [D-PA] is a member of the committee, so the bill will have his support.
Bills like this have a slim chance of being enacted, but they illustrate a trend of attempts to expand the FMLA beyond what it currently provides.
Therefore, employers do not need to take immediate action but should be aware of such congressional activity.
Many states have laws that entitle employees to time off to donate bone marrow, organs, stem cells, or even blood. Employers need to be aware of the laws of the states in which employees work.
Key to Remember: Members of Congress continue to try to expand the FMLA from its current state.
This article was written by Darlene M. Clabault, SHRM-CP, PHR, CLMS, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The content of these news items, in whole or in part, MAY NOT be copied into any other uses without consulting the originator of the content.