Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (2015)
The Feminist Majority SUPPORTS this Bill
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) would allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off to address a serious illness of their own, a spouse, parent or child or to care for a new baby or adopted child. Women still make up the majority of caregivers in the United States, and lack of paid leave forces many women workers – particularly low wage workers – to choose between their paychecks and their health, or the health of their families.
Access to paid leave would help provide all workers with economic security during serious health crises and help assist with expensive health events, like childbirth. According to a June 2014 report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors, only 11 percent of private-sector U.S. workers are covered by formal paid family leave policies through their employers. In addition, fewer than 40 percent of these workers have access to paid medical leave through short-term disability. Black and Latina workers are even less likely to be able to access paid leave, even for the birth or adoption of a new child.
The FAMILY Act creates a national family and medical leave insurance program for all workers who are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. This allows part-time workers and low-wage workers to contribute to the insurance fund and receive benefits when necessary. During periods of qualified leave, workers would be able to receive 66 percent of their monthly wages, up to a capped amount.
FAMILY Act benefits would be funded by small employee and employer payroll contributions of less than $2.00/week for a typical employee, and be administered through the Social Security Administration through a new Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave.
The FAMILY Act would make it unlawful for any employer to retaliate against employees who have applied for, intend to apply for, or who have used family and medical leave insurance benefits.
Chief Sponsor: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) plus 12 original cosponsors
Chief Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) plus 82 original cosponsors