WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama Monday signed into law a bill extending coverage of U.S. family medical leave law to pilots and flight attendants.
"This new law amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to make sure that flight attendants and pilots are able to qualify for FMLA benefits, just like other American workers," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a news release.
FMLA provides access to as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave for workers whose families experience the birth or adoption of a child or serious illness of a family member.
The legislation Obama signed Monday extends coverage under the law to flight attendants, more than 80 percent of whom are women, and other flight crew members.
Gibbs called FMLA "a tremendous success story" and said Obama was "gratified that flight attendants and pilots will be able to participate in the years to come."
"While more work remains to support workers and their families," Gibbs said, "this bill is an important step in the right direction.