Contrary to Christine Russell's assertion {letter, June 30} the Family and Medical Leave Bill, which President Bush vetoed last month, is essential to the vitality of American working families.

In most families today both parents work outside the home. The bill responds to changes in the U.S. work force by addressing the dilemma facing families when a worker must choose between his or her job and competing family demands such as the bonding with a new-born or adopted child, the needs of a sick child or a dependent parent, etc. Also, the bill recognizes the medical leave needs of individual employees who, for reasons of illness, may require an extended absence from a job.

Finally, the bill makes good sense financially. According to an analysis presented in "Unnecessary Losses," taxpayers spend approximately $108 million for increased government assistance in those states without family and medical-leave protection. The cost to families is even more staggering considering the annual income loss of more than $600 million.

Enacting the bill by overriding the president's veto would not only save millions of dollars annually but would also promote the interests of families, working parents and business. In this era of projected labor shortages, that which is essential to the vitality of American working families would be in the best interest of business as well. JOHN E. HOREJSI Vienna