[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[February 5, 1998]
[Pages 180-181]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Fifth Anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act
February 5, 1998

    On this fifth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, I am 
happy to report that this law has been good for America's families and 
good for this country's businesses. Before

[[Page 181]]

I signed this bill into law, the United States was the only 
industrialized nation without a national family and medical leave 
policy. Workers shouldn't have to choose between their families and 
their jobs when a child is born or a parent is sick. This law keeps many 
workers from having to make that choice.
    Many American families continue to face a serious shortage--a 
shortage of time needed to balance work and family obligations. Over a 
year ago I called upon Congress to expand the Family and Medical Leave 
Act to allow 24 additional hours of leave each year so that parents can 
participate in children's activities or so that family members may take 
children or elderly relatives to medical or dental appointments or for 
other professional services. This law deserves support and expansion so 
it can continue to work for American workers, their families, and their