A bill to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) benefit to about 2.7 million education support professionals has been reupped in Congress.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, and Rep. Sean Casten, D-Illinois, reintroduced the ESP and School Support Staff Family Leave Act, which would grant protection to school support staff, such as janitorial staff, foodservice workers, bus drivers and clerical support staff.

These workers would be eligible for FMLA protection if they work more than 60% of the total monthly hours expected for their role, in line with a 2009 provision for airline flight crew workers.

Lawmakers and supporters regard the FMLA, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton 30 years ago, as landmark legislation that provided U.S. workers with job-protected leave. But they also see it as a stepping stone for expanding coverage to more workers and paid leave.

Currently, FMLA protects 56% of the workforce, but gapes in the act leave out workers at small employers, those working one or multiple part-time job positions and those re-entering the workforce or changing jobs. This means some of our most vulnerable workers are the least likely to be protected — people of color and low-wage workers, Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Illinois, said during a U.S. Department of Labor event marking the 30th anniversary of the FMLA.

Alongside Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, Underwood reintroduced the Job Protection Act to close gaps in coverage for employees of small businesses, part-time workers and those either switching jobs or returning to the workforce.