Originally published on NKF Advocacy Blog; By Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation
I am delighted to share wonderful news with the kidney disease community. On August 28th, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an opinion letter on living organ donation which protects the job security of living donors who are eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This important clarification ensures that eligible employees who seek to use time off to donate an organ to help save another’s life are entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave.
This clarification was a direct result of efforts by Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) through her work on the House Appropriations Committee. Working with the National Kidney Foundation, Rep. Herrera Beutler developed language that was included in the Committee Report to the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The Report Language directed the Department of Labor to issue a clarification on FMLA for living donation.
We thank Rep. Herrera Beutler for making this possible. While this is a huge victory for patients and organ donors, we need to keep advocating for the Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1270) to provide protection from discrimination in the pricing or availability of life, disability or long-term care insurance. Please write (or tweet) your federal legislators today, if you have not already done so, to ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1270.