February 06, 2018

Senators Shaheen, Hassan Cosponsor FAMILY Act to Guarantee Paid Family and Medical Leave to All Hard-Working Granite Staters and Americans

WASHINGTON – Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan announced today that they are cosponsoring the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act or FAMILY Act, to create a universal, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave program in order to help support caregivers in the workforce.

“Working Americans should never feel as though they need to compromise their health, or personal family decisions, out of fear of losing their job,” said Senator Shaheen. “Paid family and medical leave is critical to ensuring Granite Staters have the necessary support and peace of mind to prioritize their loved ones and take care of their families. This legislation is an investment in the American workforce and the stability of our economy, and I look forward to working on passing this legislation in the Senate.”   

“No Granite Stater should be forced to choose between caring for a loved one and losing a paycheck, and our economy shouldn’t suffer from such a false choice,” Senator Hassan said. “By guaranteeing paid family and medical leave to all hard-working Granite Staters and Americans regardless of where they work, the FAMILY Act is a commonsense measure that will help strengthen families, businesses, and our economy. As we continue working to move this bill forward, I will keep fighting to ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans who work hard have the support they need to get ahead and stay ahead.”

The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national paid leave program, and only 14 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave through their employer. Without a national paid family leave program, the U.S. economy loses almost $21 billion a year, women lose $324,000 in wages and retirement benefits over a lifetime, and men lose $284,000. A lack of a national paid leave program hurts businesses; studies show that businesses incur an additional 20 percent cost to recruit and retrain new workers replacing others who left because they did not have paid leave.

The FAMILY Act establishes a self-sustaining family insurance program for all workers, including the young and elderly, single and married, men and women, regardless of the size of their employer. The program would be modeled after successful state programs, with the funding providing up to 66 percent wage-replacement for 12 weeks in the event of a serious personal or family medical emergency.

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