Johnson Says Working Families Didn't Need FMLA, Forgets He Needed Family Medical Leave | Wis.Community

Johnson Says Working Families Didn't Need FMLA, Forgets He Needed Family Medical Leave

Yesterday, in an interview with the Oshkosh Northwestern editorial board, Johnson debunked the popular conception that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which protects workers from getting fired from large employers when they miss work because they or a family member have a serious health condition or giving birth to a child,  was desperately needed by working families.  Johnson, when asked, "how do you feel about FMLA in general" says:

My experience at PACUR, well before they ever had Family and Medical Leave Act, we had never needed it... for example, one fellow, his father had cancer... we said 'take whatever time you need"... so, as an employer, I didn't need Family Medical Leave Act, to have... to allow me to be humane to people that worked at PACUR, to be gone for two, three, four months and come back-- I always held those open.

Putting aside that PACUR's track record of dealing with FMLA-eligible workers prior to FMLA is neither here nor there, Johnson's suggestion that FMLA was not needed is absurd:  FMLA was, of course, needed because the fact was that most large employers, did not keep jobs open and fired someone that missed work because of a serious health condition or the birth of a child.  

Plus, if FMLA wasn't needed, as Johnson claims, then what's the problem?  All FMLA does is prevent a large employer from firing someone for missing work under the aforementioned circumstances.  If this wasn't the case beforehand, then why is this now some sort of unnecessay, government-imposed hardship, as he is clearly implying?

Johnson's cavalier response is especially amazing considering that he himself experienced the hardship of having a child with a serious health condition and had to miss months of work to deal with the hardship.  Prior to FMLA, a person in Johnson's position could have, and likely would have been fired from their job for missing that much work.

Once again, Johnson is displaying how out of touch he has become since marrying billionaire Howard Curler's daughter, 33 years ago.   


September 3, 2010 - 9:21am