It could be used even more.
- About 40 percent of workers are not eligible for FMLA protections because their employers are too small or they have not worked for them long enough or for enough hours.
- Because the FMLA is unpaid leave, 80 percent of eligible workers can't afford to take it.
points out that every time the FMLA is used,
Each of those "uses" represents a person -- a mother or father, a daughter or son, a new parent -- who, thanks to the 12 weeks of unpaid leave the FMLA guarantees, was able to take time away from their paying jobs to care for a seriously ill loved one, recover from a serious medical condition, or welcome a new child, without sacrificing their jobs.Workers have guaranteed paid leave through programs in three states: California, New Jersey and Rhode Island. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) will introduce a bill in Congress to provide guaranteed paid leave for all American workers. It's called the FAMILY Act, for Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
“Being a working parent should not mean choosing between your job and taking care of yourself and your family," DeLauro said in a statement. “The single biggest economic issue facing Americans today is that too many jobs simply do not pay enough to live on."
Here's what the FAMILY Act will do:
- Provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they take time for their own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth recovery; the serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner; the birth or adoption of child; and/or for particular military caregiving and leave purposes.
- Enable workers to earn 66 percent of their monthly wages, up to a capped amount.
- Cover workers in all companies, no matter their size. Younger, part-time, lower-wage and contingent workers would be eligible for benefits.
- Be funded by small employee and employer payroll contributions of two-tenths of one
- percent each (two cents per $10 in wages), or about $1.50 per week for a typical worker.