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Group urged not to seek repeal of state's Family Medical Leave Act

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Petitions with over 1,200 signatures were presented Monday, urging Wisconsin’s largest business group not to try and repeal the state’s Family Medical Leave Act.

The law gives employees the right to be away from their jobs for up to six straight weeks to tend to various family matters like child birth or a sick spouse.

Former Governor Tommy Thompson signed the act 25 years ago on Women’s Equality Day.

During Monday’s Equality Day, hundreds of women rallied at the State Capitol to preserve the state family leave act – which is more generous than a similar national law.

Jim Pugh of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce received the petitions, and said his group would not push to repeal the state law. He said his group would keep monitoring the policy and do what’s best for the group and its business members.

The Capitol rally also criticized Governor Scott Walker and legislative Republicans for passing numerous bills that restrict women’s access to equal pay protections, sick leave, abortion, birth control, health coverage, and sex education.

Former State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said the state was, “taking two steps forward and one step back.”