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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JOANNA WEISS

Time to expand the Family Medical Leave Act

As we gear up for tonight’s State of the Union Address — in which the president is expected to be combative, and Republicans are expected to reject every syllable he utters — here’s a fact worth chewing on: Two decades ago, the Family Medical Leave Act passed with bipartisan support.

Yes, there was some opposition to the modest idea behind the bill: that workers should be able to recover from major illnesses, help ill relatives, or care for new babies without fear of losing their jobs. Groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Realtors firmly predicted that American business would grind to a screeching halt.

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