Examining the Need for Comprehensive National Paid Family and Medical Leave
CHAIRMAN CONNOLLY'S OPENING STATEMENT
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the lack of access to paid family and medical leave under current federal law, as well as the need for a comprehensive national paid family and medical leave program in the United States.
Paid family and medical leave provides employees with compensated time away from work for significant family caregiving needs— including the arrival of a new child or the serious illness of a close loved one—and personal medical needs.
Despite broad public support, the United States is one of only two nations in the world that does not provide any form of paid leave. Under current federal law, unpaid leave is available to fewer than sixty percent of employees in America, many of whom cannot afford to take it.
Although the Family and Medical Leave Act provided access to unpaid leave to a subset of employees in the United States more than 25 years ago, Congress has yet to enact a comprehensive national paid family and medical leave program.
Proposals have been introduced in the 116th Congress to improve access to comprehensive paid family and medical leave for federal employees and all workers, including the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA) sponsored by Chairwoman Maloney, and the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) sponsored by Congresswoman DeLauro.
The Honorable Robert Asaro-Angelo
Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
Member of Congress, Washington D.C.
Ms. Rachel Greszler
Research Fellow, Economics, Budget, and Entitlements, The Heritage Foundation
Mr. Aaron Seyedian
Founder, Well-Paid Maids
Ms. Vicki Shabo
Senior Fellow, Paid Leave Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab New America
Ms. Jacqui Silvani
Newfields, New Hampshire
Ms. Jennifer Tucker
Senior Policy Advisor, The Black Woman's Roundtable, on behalf of The National Coalition of Black Civic Participation