Building Back Better: Paid Family and Medical Leave
The “Build Back Better” or reconciliation bill is in the process of being negotiated within the Democratic party. As moderates seek to reduce the price tag, cuts are being considered.
AAUW is urging Congress to include Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave in the final version of this legislation. The U.S. lags behind other developed nations in providing family and sick leave. Only 60% of workers are currently covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which offers job protection in certain qualifying situations but no paid leave. The language approved by the House Ways and Means Committee includes the following enhancements:
• Paying cash benefits to eligible individuals engaged in qualified caregiving, beginning after July 2023.
• Expanding the definitions of “caregiving” and “eligible family members.”
• Expanding FMLA to cover all workers, including those working for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and self-employed workers.
• Paying benefits, calculated by a schedule, up to 85% of salary, on a monthly basis for up to a maximum of 12 work weeks for employees whose employers do not provide paid leave.
• Creating grants for small businesses (no more than 50 employees) to cover costs in excess of the employee’s wages, such as hiring a temporary replacement.
Please urge members of Congress to include a permanent expansion of paid family and medical leave benefits in the final budget. As Melinda Gates recently tweeted, “Women's jobs. Families’ well-being. The country’s recovery and growth. That’s
what is at stake when we talk about paid leave."
For more information, please contact Carol Light at her email
address in the membership Directory.