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Paid Family Medical Leave

SEN. SPILKA’S AND REP. GORDON’S FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE AND TEMPORARY DISABILITY INSURANCE PROGRAM BILL SD# 1853/HD# 3411:

COSPONSORS

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DETAILS

Serious personal or family medical emergencies arise for all of us at some point. Individuals receive an unexpected diagnosis. An elderly parent’s health rapidly declines. And parents need time off to nurture and bond with their newborn or newly adopted children. But despite the universality of these circumstances, most MA families face losing their jobs to care themselves, their families or children during these times.

Nearly 40 percent of Massachusetts workers (1.2 million) are excluded from job protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) because they work for companies with fewer than 50 employees. In addition, the FMLA’s unpaid leave is not a financially viable option for most working families, particularly low-income and single parent households.

The Family and Medical Leave and Temporary Disability Insurance Program Act (FML/TDI) will ensure that Massachusetts workers are not forced to choose between work and their own health needs or the well-being of their children and other family members.

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KEY COMPONENTS OF THE ACT

  • Job-Protected Leave: An employee will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to recover from his or her own serious illness or injury, to care for a seriously ill or injured family member, or to care for a newborn, newly adopted, or new foster child.
  • Partial Wage Replacement: An employee will be eligible for temporary disability benefits equal to a percentage of his or her average weekly wages in relation to area median income, capped at $1,000/week. The four levels of benefits ensure the highest percentage of weekly wages go to the lowest wage earners (30% or 30% but 50% but 80% of AMI=66%).
  • Benefits will last up to 12 weeks to care for a seriously ill or injured family member, or to care for a newborn, newly adopted, or new foster child. > Benefits will last up to 26 weeks for an employee’s own non-work-related serious illness or injury.
  • Benefits will be funded through employer contributions to the new Family and Employment Security Trust Fund, which will be administered by the Division of Family and Medical Leave in the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The fund will be managed by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth.
  • The bill is designed to keep costs down by including the following measures:

  • Employers providing equivalent benefits are exempt from contributions to the Family and Employment Security Trust Fund.
  • Employees out of work because of their own illness or injury will be eligible for benefits only after a one-week waiting period.
  • Using existing agencies and avoiding the expense of creating new entities for administration and enforcement.
  • For more information, please contact: Deb Fastino, Coalition for Social Justice, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 508-982-3108; John Drinkwater, AFL-CIO, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 781-324-8230x:12; Chris Condon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 508-243-9001; Carl Nilsson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 617-470-5664; or Elizabeth Toulan, Greater Boston Legal Services, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 508-397-7733.
  • Printed in-house at Greater Boston Legal Services-labor donated

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    HOW WELL DID PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE POLL STATEWIDE?

    "This memorandum briefly summarizes two key findings from a recent survey of a representative sample of 426 likely voters in a statewide Presidential election. The margin of error overall is 4.75% (larger for subgroups). Interviews were conducted January 8 through January 11, 2015 by professional interviewers in English and calling hours included weekday nights and weekend days. Voters overwhelmingly support a Paid Family and Medical Leave plan. 72.5% of respondents support a Paid Family and Medical Leave plan than would give workers partial pay for up to 26 weeks for their own illness and up to 12 weeks for the birth of a child or serious illness to a spouse, parent, or child. This support extends across all demographic categories including age, income, gender, race, education, employment status, political ideology, and Political Party. As an example, Democrats (87%), Independents (62%), and Republicans (57%) all support a Paid Family and Medical Leave plan by clear majorities and similar breakdowns occur across all demographic categories surveyed. Support for Paid Family and Medical Leave is solid and unlikely to change. Strong support for a Paid Family and Medical plan remains intact even when faced with a battery of reasons to oppose the plan . After hearing numerous messages on why to oppose a plan and hearing no positive messages, 65% of respondents still support the plan. Questions about the survey, its results, or its methodology should be directed to Chris Condon who can be reached at 508-243-9001 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "

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