Two Legislators Propose Paid Leave for Family and Medical Reasons

Currently only 12 percent of employees have access to paid family leave through their employer.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks at a news conference supporting passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act November 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. The legislation would help address increasing numbers of sexual assaults in the U.S. military by establishing an independent military justice system. Also pictured are (L-R) Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-NY), former U.S. Marine Sarah Plummer, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and U.S. Army veteran Kate Weber.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Clara Ritger
Dec. 12, 2013, 1:59 p.m.

Sen. Kirsten Gil­librand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa De­Lauro, D-Conn., on Thursday an­nounced an ef­fort to ex­tend paid fam­ily and med­ic­al leave to em­ploy­ees.

The so-called Fam­ily (Fam­ily and Med­ic­al In­sur­ance Leave) Act would cre­ate a na­tion­al in­sur­ance pro­gram through the So­cial Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion to col­lect fees and dis­trib­ute be­ne­fits. Em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers would con­trib­ute 0.2 per­cent of in­come to the fund, which Gil­librand and De­Lauro equate to “the ex­pense of a cup of cof­fee” each week.

“When a young par­ent needs time to care for a new­born child — it should nev­er come down to an out­dated policy that lets her boss de­cide how long it will take — and de­cide the fate of her ca­reer and her fu­ture along with it,” Gil­librand said in a press re­lease. “When any one of us — man or wo­man — needs time to care for a dy­ing par­ent — we should not have to sac­ri­fice our job and risk our fu­ture to do the right thing for our fam­ily. Choos­ing between your loved ones and your ca­reer and your fu­ture is a choice no one should have to make.”

Gil­librand and De­Lauro’s pro­pos­al in part ad­dresses a long-held cri­ti­cism of the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Fam­ily and Med­ic­al Leave Act of 1993, which provides up to 12 weeks of un­paid, job-pro­tec­ted leave in the event of per­son­al or fam­ily ill­ness, death, ad­op­tion, and preg­nancy. Only 12 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans have ac­cess to em­ploy­er-provided, job-pro­tec­ted paid leave, and tak­ing time off can be more fin­an­cially bur­den­some for hourly-wage work­ers than salar­ied em­ploy­ees.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
16 hours ago

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
17 hours ago

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
18 hours ago

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
21 hours ago

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
1 days ago

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."