Summary: The FAMILY Act would create a federal family and medical leave insurance program, a new federal mandate to provide workers with paid family and medical leave. The benefit would be available for up to 12 weeks at two-thirds wage replacement, with a maximum monthly benefit amount of $4,000 and minimum of $580, indexed annually to inflation. To be eligible, an individual must be away from their job to care for a personal or family health issue, care for a newborn or adopted child, or to deal with a family member’s military deployment or injury.
The bill would also create a new federal Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security Administration and a Federal Family and Medical Leave Insurance Trust Fund. Federal payroll taxes would be increased to pay for the program. Individuals would pay an increase of 0.2% in federal payroll taxes and employers would pay an increase of 0.2% in federal payroll taxes. Self-employed workers would see a 0.4% increase in payroll taxes.
Background: The Congressional Budget Office scored the FAMILY Act in February 2020, stating it would increase direct spending by $547 billion over 10 years, increase taxes by $319 billion over 10 years, and increase the federal deficit by $228 billion over 10 years. Further, CBO estimates the FAMILY Act would increase the Social Security Administration’s administrative costs by $27 billion.
The new paid leave mandate created by this bill would not supersede or preempt the existing patchwork of state or local paid leave laws or requirements ― nor would it supersede collective bargaining agreements. Rather, this federal mandate would overlay any and all state and local laws and collective bargaining agreements.
Bill Status: The FAMILY Act was reintroduced in February 2019. It was also included in the Senate Democrats’ Coronoavirus-response PAID Leave Act (S. 3513). There has been no legislative action on either bill.
LETTER: Budgetary Effects of H.R. 1185, the FAMILY Act
February 13, 2020, Congressional Budget Office
Philip L. Swagel, Director, CBO
BLOG: CBO: Democrats’ Paid Leave Proposal Would Blow Up Spending, Burden Social Security Administration
February 13, 2020
House Ways & Means Committee minority
BLOG: The Paid Family Leave Tracker
Aparna Mathur and Isabel Sawhill, American Enterprise Institute
PRESS RELEASE: DeLauro, Gillibrand Reintroduce the FAMILY Act
February 12, 2019, House Education & Labor Committee