WASHINGTON — A bill to guarantee job-protected leave to new parents is philosophically wrong and poses constitutional problems, the Reagan Administration said today.
The proposed Family and Medical Leave Act "violates two of the Administration's most fundamental policies," Assistant Atty. Gen. Stephen J. Markman told the Senate Labor and Human Resources subcommittee on children, families, drugs and alcoholism.
Markman said those policies rely on the marketplace to determine private sector behavior and on states to regulate it where necessary. He also said the bill potentially violates several constitutional amendments.
The measure would require companies with 15 or more workers to grant up to 18 weeks of unpaid leave on the birth, adoption or serious illness of a child. It would also require up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave for employees with serious health problems.
"We see no need for a uniform national rule on this subject," Markman said, adding at least 17 states are already experimenting with the concept.