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May 2023  Volume 21, Number 5        

This Just In ...

Biden's Proposed Federal Paid Family Leave Program Likely to Face Challenges

President Joe Biden recently proposed a $325 billion federal paid family and medical leave program as part of his $6.8tn budget plan for the fiscal year 2024. Despite the president's push for extended family support and paid time off, the program's passage faces uncertainty due to anticipated opposition from Republican lawmakers. Nonetheless, the proposal is expected to spark broader discussions about providing employees with paid leave.

Although the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), passed in 1993, already allows unpaid, job-protected leave to most workers, the proposal would be an expansion of that program, and would allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a family member, or recover from a severe illness. It would also provide up to three days of paid bereavement leave. Biden pointed out that the U.S. remains one of the few wealthy countries without a national paid leave policy. Some states and cities, however, have implemented their own family and medical leave laws.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) advocates modernizing the Family and Medical Leave Act to expand access to paid leave and provide employers with increased flexibility in program design. SHRM has also proposed a voluntary federal insurance market, allowing employers to fund paid leave benefits through pooled resources, reducing employer risk while granting employees access to paid leave.

Recent SHRM data reveals that in 2022, only 33% of employers offered paid parental leave, down from 39% in 2020. Additionally, 31% of employers provided paid leave for employees to care for an immediate family member.

Implementation of the proposed federal paid family leave program faces significant challenges due to expected Republican resistance to Biden's federal budget plan. However, the proposal may still prompt meaningful conversations and drive concerted efforts to address paid leave issues at both state and federal levels.

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In this issue:

This Just In ... Biden's Proposed Federal Paid Family Leave Program Likely to Face Challenges

Tripledemic Presents More Challenges for Employers

Harnessing AI and Data Science to Revolutionize Workplace Safety

How to Provide Benefits Equitably for Both Remote and Onsite Employees

Biden Vetoes Attempt to Overturn ESG Rule



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