Monday, May 3, 2021

Does President Biden have the political juice to make paid family and medical leave a reality?

For the past couple of administrations, it's a presidential rite of passage—unveiling a plan to provide paid family and medical leave to American workers. Last Wednesday night, President Biden released his proposal as part of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.

What is President Biden proposing?
  • Partial wage replacement for time off to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, deal with a loved one’s military deployment, find safety from sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence, heal from their own serious illness, or take time to deal with the death of a loved one.
  • The leave would scale up to 12 weeks per year by year 10 of the program.
  • Workers would qualify for up to $4,000 a month of wage replacement, with no worker receiving less than two-thirds of their average weekly wages.
  • Three days of annual paid bereavement leave.
America remains the only industrialized nation that does not mandate any measure of paid leave to its employees. This failure remains a national embarrassment. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how badly employees need this benefit. Now we'll see if President Biden has the political juice to make this a reality.