National Paid Family and Medical Leave Policy
MetadataShow full item record
Prior research indicates that entitlements for paid family and medical leave following the birth or adoption of a child or medical leave provides substantial labor market benefits. Despite widespread public support for paid leave, the United States remains alone amongst first-world, highly developed countries without a national paid leave policy. A number of US states have adopted their own family and medical leave programs to overcome the gap in benefits to workers with families at the national level. The national paid leave program proposed in this policy memorandum is designed to promote gender equity and workplace equality. In short, this policy recommends through entitlements to provide workers up to 16 weeks of paid family leave to bond with a new baby, newly adopted child, or foster child; provides 16 weeks to care for an employee’s own serious health condition; provides up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Paid annual leave is capped at 16 weeks total per year. Wage replacement is 80% of weekly wages up to $850 per week. This policy is designed to be used with the current Family Medical Leave Act, if required. Paid family and medical leave will be funded by a .075% Payroll Tax increase. While this policy proposal is aggressive compared to other proposed legislation on this issue, it is modest in comparison to other countries programs in both duration and generosity and on par with current state-adopted programs.