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Tennessee Worker Gets Time Off To Donate Kidney

Manufacturing company Tennessee Apparel revises policy on voluntary organ donation after widespread criticism.

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. - In a prepared statement issued Tuesday by Tennessee Apparel’s board of directors, the company said based on its goals as an employer, it has now decided to grant employee Pam Melson's request for time off.

Melson had requested the time off so she could donate a kidney to 36-year-old Donnie Hammack, who is married to Melson's distant cousin.

Previously, the company, citing the federal Family Medial Leave Act, said Melson could not have time off, even without pay, because she had had excessive absences from her job and the company would have to put someone in her position.

"Tennessee Apparel has decided to implement a new policy," the statement said. "From this day forward Tennessee Apparel will treat requests for voluntary organ donation as a request covered by FMLA leave if they meet all the other requirements for FMLA coverage."

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