24 although 35 states had already enacted their own

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24 Although 35 states had already enacted their own laws governing parental leave, 25 the signing of FMLA was considered an "historic occasion." 26 Labor Supply After Childbirth, 69 S. ECON. J. 772, 793 (2003). 19. See discussion infra Part III.A. 20. See discussion infra Part III.A. 21. See Bhushan, supra note 2, at 685 ("[The FMLA] encompasses most of the U.S. federal work-family policy."). 22. See Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, 29 U.S.C. § 2601(a)-(b) (2012) (finding that the number of households where both parents work is "increasing significantly" and that one of the purposes of the Act is to "promote the stability and economic security of families"); see also Bhushan, supra note 2, at 686 (discussing the need for dual income households resulting from stagnant wages and high inflation rates beginning in the 1970s); Maureen Porette & Brian Gunn, The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993: The Time Has Finally Come for Governmental Recognition of True "Family Values," 8 J. Civ. RTS. & ECON. STABILITY 587, 597 (1993) ("Traditionally in America, women have stayed at home and men supplied the primary source of income. However, because of the rising cost of living and the need for personal fulfillment, many women have chosen to pursue careers outside of the home."). 23. Bhushan, supra note 2, at 686. 24. Writing the Next Chapter of the Family and Medical Leave Act: Building on a 15-Year History of Support for Workers: Hearing on S. 110-851 Before the S. Subcomm. on Children & Families of the Comm. on Health, Educ., Labor, & Pensions, l10th Cong. 1 (2008) [hereinafter Hearing on S. 110-851] (statement of Sen. Christopher Dodd, Chariman, Subcomm. on Children & Families). 25. Bhushan, supra note 2, at 686. 26. Hearing on S. 110-851, supra note 24. 2015]
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HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW Comparatively, during the years leading up to the implementation of FMLA in the United States, the international community had likewise begun the recognize the importance of maternity leave, particularly during the 1960s and 70s as many industrialized countries experienced surges of female participation in the workforce. 2 7 Leave policies implemented internationally frequently were based on an understanding that leave is meant to benefit not only new mothers, but infant development as well. 2 8 In 1992, the year before the enactment of FMLA, the European Union mandated 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. 29 The bill to create FMLA had faced great opposition prior to its enactment, including two Presidential vetoes before it was signed into law. 3 0 During the formulation of FMLA, there was skepticism, largely from the industrial sector, that mandatory family leave would negatively impact businesses through decreased worker productivity. 31 Congress responded to these concerns by declaring that the purposes of FMLA were to be fulfilled "in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers.
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