The private needs of the family are now at the forefront of the national political agenda as
a result of changes in the workforce and in family demographics. The Family and Medical Leave
Act of 1993 (FMLA) is the cornerstone of the family policy movement. This act allows an unpaid
leave of absence for employed family members who need to care for a newborn, a newly adopted
child, or a seriously ill relative. Its benefits to working families are well documented (US DOL
1996; Cantor et al. 2000).