The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee its citizens paid family leave. A proposed bill could change that.
New baby. Sick parents. Personal illness. Regardless of the circumstances, taking unpaid time off is not an option for many Americans. But some relief may be on the horizon.
Leaders from both sides of the aisle have recently expressed support for some form of a paid family leave program at the federal level. (As President Trump put it in his State of the Union address last week: Nationwide paid family leave would ensure that “every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.”)
This week in Washington, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, both Democrats, reintroduced the Family Act, which would provide Americans up to 12 weeks of paid leave at 66 percent of their monthly wages. The proposal builds on an existing law, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which offers only unpaid leave.