Who We Are

About Us

Keep Families First is a diverse statewide coalition formed to protect Wisconsin’s current Family and Medical Leave Act and create Family and Medical Leave Insurance. Keep Families First is a broad partnership of families, workers, and their advocates created out of the critical necessity to provide economic security for Wisconsin families. Nobody should be forced to abandon their new babies or sick family members at the risk of losing a pay check or their job all together, because they are being denied time to care for their family.

The spring of 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of signing the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) into law, making Wisconsin one of the first states to pass legal protections for family and medical leave. Keep Families First celebrated provisions in the Wisconsin FMLA that allow for coverage of in-laws, domestic partners, part-time workers, and allow for substitution of accrued time to earn a living on what otherwise would be an unpaid leave. At a time when job creation and economic stability are more crucial than ever, the Wisconsin FMLA assists the state toward rebuilding the economy with good jobs and a healthy, productive workforce.

Twenty-five years after the passage of Wisconsin FMLA, the time is ripe to expand it. Nearly half the workforce is not covered, and many don’t have paid time they can use. Most Wisconsin families can’t afford to take unpaid time off to care for a sick loved one or new baby, and still pay the bills.

Wisconsin families need Family Leave Insurance; an employee-funded plan that is gaining national support and is already successful in other states including California and New Jersey.

    1. Under this plan-

    2. Employees invest less than half of 1% of their paycheck into a state-managed fund.
    3. When an employee needs Family and Medical Leave to care for a sick family member, new child, or dying parent, they are able to receive partial wage replacement, to help pay the rent and put food on the table

The Keep Families First coalition, convened by 9to5 Wisconsin, would like to partner with legislators, community groups, and individuals who value families to look at ways of making our Family and Medical Leave Insurance a possibility for Wisconsin families.

Wisconsin families depend on the family and medical leave they have earned, and we owe it to them to ensure that they can care for loved ones in times of need.The Keep Families First coalition is partnering with legislators, service providers, community groups, and local businesses, who all value families, and want to make Wisconsin FMLA more accessible and affordable – not less.


You can join the following organizations who have pledged to Keep Families First and are working to preserve and expand Wisconsin Family Medical Leave

If you have questions on Wisconsin Family Medical Leave or would like more information on how you can Keep Families First, please contact 9to5 Organizer Meghan Grahs – meghan@9to5.org