March 15, 2019
The paid leave discussion has begun again in earnest in Washington as Democrats reintroduced a paid sick leave bill, Republicans floated a measure that would draw from Social Security to provide paid leave benefits to new parents, and President Trump included in his 2020 budget the general contours of a paid leave benefit for new parents.
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mike Lee’s (R-UT) CRADLE Act would grant a new parent the ability to take a consecutive time period not exceeding three months and beginning within 90 days of the birth or adoption of the child. The pair are testing draft language and seeking input.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) Healthy Families Act would mandate that employees may earn one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
As promised in his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump’s budget for the Department of Labor includes a proposal to provide six weeks of paid parental leave to new parents, including adoptive parents, using the state-based Unemployment Insurance system. Beyond this, “[t]he Administration looks forward to working with Congress to advance policies that would make paid parental leave a reality for families across the Nation.”
None of the proposals provide any form of relief from the patchwork of state and local paid sick leave laws.
Why it matters: While it's unclear to be seen whether any one of these measures can gain momentum in Congress, the issue of paid family leave is becoming a bipartisan priority in Washington.