Paid leave, like labor law, is complex. Did you know 82% of Americans support paid maternity leave? Or that paid family and medical leave are meant to address long-term illnesses or injuries? Take a look through all these facts, and share with your colleagues and friends to inform them as well!
1. Paid leave can be split into three categories: paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and safe leave.
Paid Sick Leave
- Is earned over time, and covers short-term illness or injury, as well as preventative healthcare
- Can be used to care for oneself – the individual – or immediate family members
Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Is used to care for an ill relative, which may include, but not limited to, a child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or registered domestic partner
- Includes maternity and paternity leave
- Is meant to address (or care for) long-term illnesses or injuries
- Sometimes rolled in with paid sick leave
- Allows employees to take time off in instances of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking
2. A federal paid leave bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in late 2017.
On Nov. 6, 2017, California House Rep. Mimi Walters introduced the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (HR 4219) to the House of Representatives. If this law were to pass, employers would face the country’s first-ever federal paid leave law.
3. Paid maternity and paternity leave were included in President Trump’s 2018 budget.
In May 2017, it was announced that Trump’s 2018 budget contained a push for not only six weeks of paid maternity leave, but also six weeks of paid leave for fathers and parents of adopted children. This budget is proposed to begin in 2020.
4. Most Americans support paid medical and family leave, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center Study:
- 85% support paid leave to care for themselves
- 67% support paid leave to care for an ill family member who is seriously ill.
- 82% of respondents support paid maternity leave, while 69% support paid paternity leave
- Across income groups, 72% of those who wanted or needed time off but didn’t take it said they couldn’t afford to lose wages or salary
5. We have seen an increase in paid leave laws at the local levels in the past few years for a few reasons:
- Lower level jurisdictions can pass and update laws at a faster pace
- There is little action at the federal level
6. A one-size-fits-all approach will NOT ensure your company locations are compliant.
As you know, there has been an increase in paid leave bills at the state level. In fact, 150 state bills were introduced, and eight laws enacted last year. And, at the local level, 18 bills were introduced, and one law enacted.
You may feel like you have a grip on the details, but there is one thing you may not have noticed …
Very few of these laws contain the same provisions. So, even if you feel you have a solid understanding of paid leave management, it’s likely you’ll have to apply varying paid leave requirements to different groups of employees in each location.