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Media Coverage: Women’s Equality Day in Appleton

Media Coverage: Women’s Equality Day in Appleton

We Are Green Bay Nightly News – WFRV (CBS)
August 26, 2013
By Evan Kruegel

View coverage of the press conference here:

It’s been 25 years since Wisconsin’s Family Medical Leave Act was signed into law…and across the state today, workers lobbied for updated coverage.

“Our main goal throughout this entire effort has been to update and improve the law, not take it away.” said Angelique Rogers, who works for 9to5 Wisconsin.

At a small gathering in Appleton, Sarah Conklin recited the story of a local friend who requested medical leave to care for her tumor-laden sister.

“My sister has never been married, has no children, and our mom is in poor health,” said Conklin. “So I was the only family member to be with her during this terrifying process.”

But as it stands now, the Family Medical Leave Act only applies to birth and adoption, or to take care of a sick spouse, parent, or child. Siblings aren’t eligible.

“When I explained my situation to our human resource person to put in for a leave, you can imagine my shock when I was told I was not eligible for family leave.”

Wisconsin’s act is still more favorable than the federal standards, but state representative Penny Bernard Schaber says stories like this one are unacceptable.

“It’s my job to make sure that the law that’s in place now does not get weakened and that we update it a little bit to include siblings and a few others that need to be included in this medical leave act. And I’m willing to get that done.”