Yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd gave his farewell speech from the Senate floor. It seems archaic to read a speech, but it’s worth a few minutes of your time, regardless of your politics. He has been a public servant and a tireless advocate for many causes in Connecticut. It will be strange to have a Connecticut delegation in Washington without him.
But as others ponder his legacy, I want to focus on one aspect that has changed nearly every workplace in the country: the Family and Medical Leave Act.
As the principal author of the legislation, he helped shape it into a — dare we say — integral part of today’s workplace. It was a product of negotiation and revision, something that Sen. Dodd notes seems to be lacking in today’s hyper-partisan atmosphere.
I talked about Sen. Dodd and his legacy in more detail way back in January.
But one point is worth re-emphasizing. For all the doom and gloom talk about the negative impacts the legislation would have on the workplace, most of those predictions never came true. In fact, over 90 percent of employers told the U.S. Department of Labor that the law had a neutral or positive impact on profits.
It’s a testament to Sen. Dodd that he helped to craft a law that ultimately helped both employers AND employees.