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Keep Families First

Keep Families First is a broad partnership of families, workers, and their advocates that was created out of the critical necessity to provide economic security for Wisconsin families. Mothers, fathers, children, and spouses should not be forced to abandon their new babies or sick family members because they are being denied time to care for their family.

The spring of 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of Former Governor, Tommy Thompson, signing the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WI FMLA) into law, making Wisconsin one of the first states to pass legal protections for family and medical leave. They were introduced by Noah Michelson, one of the original kids to stand in the Capitol in 1988. Keep Families First held a celebration of WI FMLA on March 21st at the State Capitol where Wisconsin children told their stories of how their family was strengthened by WI FMLA.

At a time when job creation and economic stability are more crucial than ever, the Wisconsin FMLA assists the state toward rebuilding the economy with good jobs and a healthy, productive workforce. Twenty-five years after the passage of Wisconsin FMLA, the time is ripe to expand it. Nearly half the workforce isn’t covered, and many don’t have paid time they can use.

Wisconsin families depend on the family and medical leave they have earned, and we owe it to them to ensure that they can care for loved ones in times of need.The Keep Families First coalition is partnering with legislators, service providers, community groups, and local businesses, who all value families, and want to make Wisconsin FMLA more accessible and affordable – not less.

You can join the following organizations who have pledged to Keep Families First and are working to preserve and expand Wisconsin Family Medical Leave

If you have questions on Wisconsin Family Medical Leave or would like more information on how you can Keep Families First, please contact 9to5 Wisconsin at