House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez; House Ways and Means Health Subcomittee Chairman Pete Stark, D-Fremont; Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma; and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, today introduced the “Family Leave Insurance Act of 2008,” which would provide workers 12 weeks of paid leave for maternity or paternity; to care for a sick family member; to recover from an illness; or to deal with emergencies related to someone’s armed-services deployment.
Stark said there’s a lot of talk about family values in Washington, and now it’s “time for Congress to… take action that families will actually value. The Family and Medical Leave Act has been a tremendous success, but many workers cannot afford to take unpaid leave.”
Miller said millions have taken unpaid leave under FMLA, but “millions more are put in the impossible position of choosing between paying their bills and dealing with an illness or welcoming a new child to the family. Americans shouldn’t have to make that choice.”
“Family-friendly policies like guaranteed paid leave not only help parents balance work and family, but also improve employers’ bottom lines,” he continued. “When workers have the ability to take advantage of these family-friendly policies, their employers benefit from increased recruitment and retention rates, decreased absenteeism and improved productivity.”
Per Stark’s news release, the bill would: