At the time of this writing, the US is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee paid maternity or parental leave to workers. NY, CA, RI, NJ, in addition to individual companies are beginning to make a changes to paid family leave policies. On 4/6/16, San Francisco became the first US city to mandate paid parental leave for mothers and fathers for a six-week period after the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, but only to full-time workers at companies with over 50 employees.
Details of the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Law
Starting in 2017, San Francisco’s law will complement state* law, mandating that employers with 50 or more workers provide the remaining 45% of employees’ wages for a six-week leave. The law will in phases extend to businesses with 20 or more employees. Source: MSN
*California implemented a 55% partial pay paid leave program in 2002. This is funded by employee payroll contributions.
Wells Fargo Offers Paid Parental Leave
The San Francisco-based bank told employees on 4/6/16, that it will provide up to 16 weeks of paid leave for a primary caregiver and up to four weeks for a nonprimary caregiver following a birth or adoption. The benefit, available to Wells Fargo’s full- and part-time employees in the U.S., takes effect June 1. Source: Charlotte Observer
New York Paid Leave Law
12-Week Paid Family Leave
The state budget includes the most comprehensive paid family leave program in the nation. When fully phased- in, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition or to relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service. Benefits will be phased-in beginning in 2018 at 50 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped to 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage, and fully implemented in 2021 at 67 percent of their average weekly wage, capped to 67 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. This program will be funded entirely through a nominal payroll deduction on employees so it costs businesses – both big and small – nothing. Employees are eligible to participate after having worked for their employer for six months. Source: Governor.NY.Gov
New Jersey and Rhode Island also have paid parental leave laws in effect. Washington state has a similar law ready, but yet to be implemented.
DOL Paid Family and Medical Leave Facts
The following information can be found on the DOL.gov
The Need for Paid Leave:
- Only 12 percent of U.S. private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employer.
- Too many workers still cannot afford to take unpaid leave because of the loss of income it entails, or have to cut their leave short because of financial or workplace pressures.
- Millions of workers have caregiving responsibilities for both young children and aging parents.
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