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Washington D.C. — Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) announced the introduction of The Life Saving Leave Act (H.R. 7770) that would allow up to 40 non-consecutive, unpaid hours of leave for donors of life-saving bone marrow and blood stem cells. 

Bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants can cure or treat over 75 otherwise fatal diseases or conditions; however, 70 percent of patients do not have a matching donor in their family. Meaningful policy change is necessary to support the mission of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match to connect patients whose survival is dependent on their donor’s cells. 

Bone marrow and blood stem donation is incredibly time intensive, Phillips Life Saving Leave Act reduces the barriers that many donors face in needing time off work to donate.  

Currently 38 states already have laws requiring employers to provide either paid or unpaid leave. Potential donors, no matter their state, should not have to choose between helping save a life and losing their jobs. This bill would directly eliminate the need to make that choice. 

"There is simply no reason for anyone to be at risk of losing their job when it comes to potentially saving a life,” said Rep. Phillips. “We must do more to protect the jobs of bone marrow and blood stem donors by ensuring that they have the flexibility to take time off without consequence. This bill will help us do just that by creating a federal standard that allows more people to say yes to being a lifesaving match for a patient in need.” 

“Congress can support blood cancer and blood disease patients by approving this straight-forward legislation to provide job protection for donors asked to save the life of a stranger,” said Brian Lindberg, National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) /Be The Match Chief Policy Officer. “This is a common-sense approach that would make it easy for both the employer and employee to help provide a life-saving cure to someone in need.” 

For full text of the legislation, click here.