Family Medical Leave
In June 2007 the Maine legislature passed L.D. 375, a bill that amended the state's Family Medical Leave Act to include LGBT workers, whose families were not previously covered by the law.
EqualityMaine worked closely with the Maine Civil Liberties Union, the Maine Women's Lobby and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) to organize testimony before the Labor Committee and to push for the bill's passage. Before L.D. 375 passed, the Family Medical Leave Act allowed employees to take 10 weeks of unpaid time to care for a sick spouse - but it did not apply to same-sex couples, who are not allowed to marry in Maine.
Now, all Maine businesses with more than 15 employees - including state agencies - must grant the same family medical leave options to married and unmarried couples. In order to qualify for family medical leave provisions, same-sex couples must meet the definition of domestic partners.
In addition to providing unpaid leave in the event of a partner's illness, the bill allows leave to care for a partner's child, or for a child's birth or adoption.
Read the Maine Family Medical Leave Act here (scroll down to subchapter 6-A).
L.D. 375 was supported by a broad coalition of health, family and civil rights organizations, including EqualityMaine, the American Cancer Society, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine AIDS Alliance, Maine Center for Economic Policy, Maine Children’s Alliance, Maine Civil Liberties Union, Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Maine Equal Justice Project, Maine Women’s Lobby, Maine People’s Alliance, National Association of Social Workers-Maine Chapter, National Organization for Women-Portland Chapter and National Organization for Women-Maine Chapter.