On February 5, 2021, the 28th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) re-introduced the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMILY) Act in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill aims to create a permanent, national paid family and medical leave program.
As with earlier versions of this legislation, this bill would grant workers up to 66% of wage replacement for 12 weeks due to health conditions, pregnancy, childbirth or adoption, a family member’s injury or illness, and reasons applicable to service members. Unlike the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provided emergency paid sick and family leave for COVID-related reasons through December 31, 2020, the proposed FAMILY Act would create a permanent paid leave program not limited to pandemic-induced causes. It also would include self-employed or part-time employees and would apply to all employers regardless of the size of their workforce.
Employers should stay tuned for updates to this proposed legislation, which may mark a pivotal turning-point in the paid family and medical leave landscape in the United States.