Amy K. Berman


On March 4, 1986, H.R. 4300, The Family & Medical Leave Act of 1986 was introduced in the United States House of Representatives. The purpose of the bill is "to entitle employees to parental leave in cases involving the birth, adoption, or serious health condition of a son or daughter and temporary medical leave in cases involving the inability [of an employee] to work because of a serious health condition." The bill requires an employer to provide up to 18 weeks job-protected family leave and up to 26 weeks job protected medical leave for all temporarily disabled employees. The scope of this Note is limited to an examination of the family leave provisions of H.R. 4300. The examination will begin with a study of the demographic rationale for implementing a national policy of this magnitude. This demographic rationale encompasses demographic changes in society and the interplay between those changes and current employment policies. This will be followed by an analysis of the existing law beginning with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act 7 and continuing through the recent Supreme Court decision in California Federal Savings and Loan v. Guerra. Next, this Note will present an overview of H.R. 4300's provisions for family leave. Finally, this Note will examine some of the arguments which have been raised in opposition to H.R. 4300. The purpose of this Note is to educate the reader on the current status of the law regarding maternity leave and family leave and to demonstrate the need for H.R. 4300 based upon recent demographic changes, current employment policies, and the inability of current law to adequately address the needs of the modern American family.