Backgrounder

Healthy Families Act

Tags:

Democrat bill, Sick Leave

Bill name: Healthy Families Act

Bill sponsors: Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT) and Sen. Patti Murray (D-WA), joined by 122 cosponsors in the House and 32 cosponsors in the Senate.

 

Summary: Proposed legislation to require paid sick leave for private-sector workers.

  • Requires employers with 15 or more workers to issue each employee one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employers with fewer than 15 workers may opt out of providing paid family leave but shall provide not fewer than 56 hours of unpaid sick leave to each employee per year.
  • Employees can make use of the accrued paid sick leave, without interference from the employer, for the following purposes:
    • Physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition of the employee. o Obtaining professional medical diagnosis or care.
    • Caring for a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or relative that has a medical condition or is in need of care.
    • In response to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Accrued paid family leave would carry over year-to-year but stay capped at 56 hours.
  • It would not supersede (including preempting) any provision of any state or local law that provides greater paid sick time or leave rights.

 

Background: The Healthy Families Act is the latest of a series of paid family leave bills from both the left and right. In March 2019, Senate Republicans Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT) rolled out their CRADLE Act, which would provide paid family leave for workers through early use of up to three months of social security benefits. In February 2019, Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) reintroduced the FAMILY Act (S. 463, H.R. 1185), legislation to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program funded through an increased payroll deduction.

Recent Development: In early April 2019, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) unveiled their “New Parents Act”, a bill to create a federal paid leave benefit program. Turn page over to learn more.

Bill Status: No hearings have been announced, but hearings on paid family leave are likely at the House Committee on Education and Labor, House Committee on Ways and Means, and Senate Finance Committee.

 

RECENT DEVELOPMENT

More Information on the New Parents Act:

Introduced on April 9, 2019 by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), the “New Parents Act” would create a federal paid leave benefit program that allows parents to make use of social security benefits to fund paid maternity or paternity leave and then delaying their retirement or reducing future benefits by a commensurate amount. It is an updated version of the “Economic Security for New Parents Act” introduced by Rubio in the 116th Congress, which was modeled on the Social Security Earned Leave proposal from the Independent Women’s Forum.

  • Parents of a newborn biological or adopted child could take leave for up to three months with pay at two-thirds of their prior wages, financed by their social security benefits.
  • The leave could be full-time or part-time, while also working part-time.
  • Alternately, the new parent could use their benefit to pay for child care expenses.
  • Participating individuals would be required to delay their retirement for three to six months or receive a proportionate reduction in their monthly social security benefit for a period of five years of retirement.

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Also related:  Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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