New bill in Congress would provide paid family and medical leave

fmla.jpegA real game changer: Paid family and medical leave.

Details after the jump…

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So, as I was saying, I read on Friday that both the Senate and the House of Representatives recently introduced bills, which would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year to qualifying workers for the birth or adoption of a new child, the serious illness of an immediate family member, or a worker’s own medical condition. Workers would be eligible to collect benefits equal to 66 percent of their typical monthly wages, with a capped monthly maximum amount of $1,000 per week.

As yet, I haven’t read a copy of the legislation, only articles about it. But, once published, you can read a copy of the bill, dubbed the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act. (FAMILY Act), here.

The Family Act would cover workers in all companies, no matter their size. and be funded by employee and employer payroll contributions of two-tenths of one percent each, or about $1.50 per week for a typical worker.

Unlike the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is only available based on the size of the employer, FAMILY Act benefits would be available to every individual who is insured for Social Security Disability Insurance at the time the application is filed; has earned any income from employment or self-employment in the 12 months prior to applying for benefits, and is/was engaged in qualified caregiving.

Currently, five states (CA, HI, NJ, NY, RI) and Puerto Rico have temporary disability insurance programs such as that which the Family Act contemplates.

According to this “fact sheet,” from the National Partnership for Women and Families, more small employers say that they support family and medical leave insurance than oppose it.

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