Paid Leave Bill Ignites Emotions
Although workers are allowed under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to take up to twelve weeks off to take care of newly born or adopted child, or a sick family member without the risk of losing their job, many are unable to take advantage of this right because they cannot afford the twelve-week loss of income. A bill that has already passed the State Senate and now goes before the State Assembly, seeks to change this situation in California---using a split tax on employers and employees to guarantee workers sixty-five percent of their pay, up to $728 a week, while taking FMLA leave. The bill is strongly supported by workers? rights advocates and unions who point out that almost all developed countries besides the U.S. have paid family leave laws, and that the measure would only cost employers $17 per an employee annually---a claim disputed by business groups who cite a figure of $100 and strongly oppose the measure.