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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4300 - Family and Disability Leave Act

September 16, 1986


(Clay (D) MO and 125 others)

The Administration opposes enactment of H.R. 4300, which would require every public and private employer with 15 or more employees to provide their employees with up to 18 workweeks of parental leave in any two years, and up to 26 workweeks of medical leave in any one calendar year. If this bill is enacted, the President's Senior Advisors will recommend a veto.

The bill is objectionable for the following major reasons:

  • It interferes with the private marketplace by dictating terms and conditions of employment which are best left to negotiations between employers and employees.
  • The case has not been made for a federally mandated leave benefit. The inflexibility of a mandated benefit prohibits employers from meeting the differing needs of a diverse and changing workforce and would actually stifle the current trend of employers to accommodate the needs of their employees to meet conflicting family responsibilities.
  • The bill would create a Federal intrusion into the traditional responsibility of the States to take actions where appropriate to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens.
  • With regard to the Federal sector, the bill is unnecessary because the Federal Government already provides very generous leave benefits for its employees. In addition, the bill would limit the flexibility of the Federal Government to best meet the needs of its employees, managers, and the public.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4300 - Family and Disability Leave Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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