AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is home to a new law that extends family medical leave protections to some grandparents.

The proposal makes Maine Family Medical Leave protections available to working grandparents who must take time off to care for a grandchild who has a severe medical condition. Rep. Paul Stearns, a Republican, sponsored the proposal, which earned bipartisan support in Augusta.

Stearns said grandparents often play a vital role in raising children in Maine, and many also work. He said the law change “allows working grandparents to take a limited amount of time to provide care to their grandchild without the fear of losing their position.”

The law takes effect three months after the Legislature adjourns.