Half point | iStock | Getty Images
Legislation that was passed by Congress would provide 12 weeks of paid family and sick leave to most workers, and remove the United States from the shortlist of countries that currently do not have such a policy.
The exact details of the plan may still change, but experts say the historic public health crisis we are slowly emerging from has sparked debate over the need for a federal paid leave policy overboard.
According to the World Policy Center, around 180 countries have guaranteed paid sick leave for workers, but the United States is one of 11 countries. Even this policy would exceed that of the United States: for example, in Japan and Norway, new parents are entitled to a compensation period not exceeding 52 weeks.
Research reveals several benefits of paid leave policies, including lower risks sick workers present to their work while being contagious, and better health outcomes for mothers and their children.
Here’s what we know so far about work ethics.
What are the details?
Kathleen Romig said the policy, which would be administered by the US Treasury Department or the Social Security Administration, would allow almost all workers to receive paid leave, provided they had earned a salary in the six last months. , Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The typical worker can pay two-thirds of their wages each year for up to 12 weeks, or up to a limit of $ 4,000 per month. The lowest paid workers will continue to receive around 80% of their income during this period. Part-time workers and self-employed workers should also be eligible.
“Individuals will be able to receive partial compensation for three days of bereavement leave,” said Michelle McGrain, director of congressional relations and economic justice at the National Partnership for Women and Families.
When will it start?
The program will be implemented within two years until June 2023.
“It’s a very ambitious schedule,” Romig said.
What can I reserve time for?
Working people may benefit from taking care of a new baby, healing from a serious illness, a sick family member or for whatever reason military deployment, said Ruth Martin, vice-president. Senior President of the nonprofit advocacy group Momserizing.
“This definition of ‘family’ is inclusive and reflects the reality of life in America today,” said Martin.
What if I am already receiving paid vacation?
Nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted vacation pay legislation: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington State. And some states currently guarantee their workers a certain number of paid sick days.
More from Personal Finance:
House Democrats propose to raise capital gains tax to 28.8%
If you want to travel less, visit these affordable American cities
House Democrats propose to extend extended child tax credit until 2025
Meanwhile, around 25% of companies have a paid parental leave policy.
Experts say these existing private and public benefits can last as long as their terms are as liberal or more liberal than federal policy.
Many companies will be offering more paid time off as a recruiting and retention tool.
How much will the policy cost and who will pay for it?
The most recent plan does not yet contain a cost estimate, although a similar White House proposal cost around $ 225 billion over a decade. It would be paid for by the federal government from tax revenues generated by higher levies on the rich.
What are the chances of this becoming a reality?
Too much, say the experts.
Widener University professor said: “With the widespread effects of COVID-19 in the public’s mind on health, employment and care, I believe that a policy of paid family leave, as part of of a larger whole, is an opportunity to be adopted. Good luck. ”Linda Houser.
Democrats also plan to try to pass the law through a reconciliation process, which means they won’t need any Republican backing.
The vast majority of American voters – around 80% – support a national paid vacation program.
Do American workers who get sick or have children now have rights?
Currently, companies with 50 or more employees are required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to the Family and Medical Leave Act 1993.
But that law only covers 56% of the workforce, McGrain said.