Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is the lead sponsor of the FAMILY Act, today released the following statement after Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced new paid leave legislation:
“The vast majority of Americans don’t have any access to paid leave, and both parties now recognize that this is hurting our economy and holding our country back. Unfortunately, this bill is not a realistic plan. It only covers new parents and it creates a false choice between Social Security and paid leave. We urgently need a national paid leave program that covers all workers for all medical emergencies, and anything less is just not enough. My bill, the FAMILY Act, is the paid leave program our country needs. It’s affordable, sustainable, comprehensive, and it covers every working American for about the cost of a cup of coffee per week. I urge my colleagues to stand up for workers and families and fight with me to pass the FAMILY Act.”
Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act would create a universal, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave plan that would cover all workers for any medical event. Specifically, the FAMILY Act would do the following:
- Provide up to 12 weeks of partial wages to working people who need to take time away from their jobs to address a serious personal or family health issue, to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, or for circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment or serious injury;
- Be self-funded through payroll contributions from employers and employees of just two-tenths of 1% each (two cents per $10 in wages), or about $4 a week total, split between employers and employees;
- Guarantee portable coverage so that workers who have multiple jobs, change jobs, or are self-employed are provided with the same security as traditional employees; and
- Provide 66% wage replacement, capped at $4,000 a month.