December 16 2013
by Chris Woodward
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would apply to every American worker regardless of age, wage and whether they're full-time or part-time, and enable workers to earn 66 percent of their monthly wages.
In order to do that, the FAMILY Act would create an independent trust fund within the Social Security Administration to collect fees and provide benefits.
The legislation was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Rose DeLauro (D-CT).
The National Partnership for Women and Families favors the effort, saying "no legislation would do more to make this a family-friendly nation than the FAMILY Act."
Carrie Lukas, managing director with the Independent Women's Forum, sees things differently. Allowing people to take off from work is good, she says, but warns about a "problem" when you involve the federal government.
Plus, she calls the bill an "expensive measure."
"This would be a tax that would affect every American worker and then benefit just a small section of people. So, that's more money out of folks' pockets," she says. "It would mean that private programs that are out there would displaced."
Lukas also suggests this could make employers less likely to hire women.
Regarding that 66 percent of monthly wages, Lukas says some workers may still have trouble making ends meet.
Current law provides job-protected leave for employees in certain health-related issues, but it does not apply to every worker and it is unpaid.