The FAMILY Act Would Provide Paid Sick Leave for All Workers – Voice Your Support!

Many months ago, I posted about my shock and disappointment in learning that a number of states were passing legislation whose sole purpose was to prohibit future state-level legislation which would provide paid sick leave to employees.  Considering that cynical trend in state legislatures, I cannot tell you how excited we are at The Case Law Firm to hear talk of pending federal legislation which would proactively provide paid sick leave to every employee, regardless of the size of her employer or the state in which she lives.

The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (or the FAMILY Act), would provide paid leave to employees who are suffering from serious health conditions or are caring for a sick child, spouse, parent or domestic partner.  The Act would also provide leave related to pregnancy, childbirth and adoption.  Like the FMLA, the FAMILY Act would provide for up to 12 weeks of leave.  However, unlike the FMLA, the act would apply to employers of any size, no matter how small, and that leave would be paid.  Employees would receive 66% of their normal wages while on leave up to a certain cap.  That pay would be funded similarly to Social Security; it would require employers and employees alike to contribute two tenths of a percent of every dollar earned to a fund.  This amounts to two cents of every ten dollars, or approximately $0.58 per week for an individual working 40 hours per week at the federal minimum wage.   Those contributions would be pooled and, in aggregate, are expected to fund both the sick leave pay as well as administration of the Act itself, which would be housed within the Social Security Administration.

Polls show that paid sick leave is not only supported by the majority of citizens, but also by a growing majority of small business owners. This is not surprising given that research shows that paid sick leave is beneficial to employees, employers and the economy in general and that the two states that have introduced similar laws in the past ten years (California and New Jersey) have successfully implemented the laws.

The FAMILY Act was introduced on December 12, 2013, but no progress has been made since that date.  This Act would fill a huge gap in employment protections for low-wage workers – many of whom are not even entitled to unpaid sick leave without risking their jobs, let alone paid time off.  Please contact your federal legislators ASAP and indicate your support.