This morning, lawmakers will discuss the FAMILY Act. Here in the United States, federal law requires employers to provide eligible workers with 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work each year but does not guarantee any paid leave. Currently, there are a number of proposals under consideration in Congress that aim to expand earned parental leave or pay replacement for workers to allow them to take time off following the birth or adoption of a child.
There are enormous health and economic benefits associated with paid parental leave. The majority of full-time workers in the U.S. have access to some form of paid time off but there are still many workers who do not receive paid leave through their employers and can face hardship as a result. In fact, most workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, which means taking unpaid leave is often out of the question.
All Americans, regardless of political party, agree that we must help workers who lack this benefit get the financial support they want and need. Yet there are fundamental disagreements about how to assist those who need it.
The ongoing policy debate over the best way to provide paid parental leave raises many questions. Does providing access to paid parental leave require a new program? What is the best way to fund paid parental leave benefits? Should participation be mandatory regardless of one’s plans to use the benefit? Who should be eligible for paid time off?
As we all continue to think critically about the best way to expand access to paid parental leave, we wanted to offer you a comparison of the different approaches to providing workers with time off from work. We hope you find this chart useful, and if you do, please be sure to share it with your friends on social media.