WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined their colleagues in introducing legislation to create a permanent, national paid family and medical leave program. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would ensure that all workers, no matter the size of their employer or if they are self-employed or part-time, have access to paid leave for serious medical events.
“Too many Granite Staters, particularly women, have been made to choose between caring for their family or earning a paycheck – and the pandemic has only underscored this disparity,” Senator Hassan said. “The FAMILY Act would expand access to paid leave for any worker who needs it, which will help ensure that families can continue to put food on the table even if they cannot work due to a medical emergency. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting this important legislation to create a permanent paid leave program to better support families and our economy as a whole.”
“As families across the nation grapple with the public health and economic fallout from the pandemic, it’s past time we enact a national paid family and medical leave program. It’s unacceptable that workers are forced to compromise their paycheck to care for their families and tend to medical emergencies -- it’s not just families that suffer, but also our economy,” Senator Shaheen said. “I’m proud to support the FAMILY Act because it opens the door for all hardworking Americans to participate in our economy, strengthening our businesses and communities when we need it most during this economic recession. I’ll remain committed to finding bipartisan ways to invest in our workforce and families.”
Senators Hassan and Shaheen voted to pass the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act last March that required certain employers to provide paid leave to their workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Those requirements, which helped slow the spread of COVID-19 by roughly 15,000 cases per day, have since expired. The COVID-19 relief and government funding bill, which Senators Hassan and Shaheen worked to negotiate and pass into law in December, extended a tax credit through March 2021 to businesses that choose to provide paid sick and family leave to their employees. The FAMILY Act would create a permanent paid family and medical leave program for all workers that provides up to 66% of wage replacement for 12 weeks, anytime they need it.