FAMILY Act Could Benefit Small Businesses, Heitkamp Says (March 22, 2017)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., along with other senators, introduced a bill that would enact a federal paid leave policy in the United States.

According to a press release, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, first introduced by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. last Congress, would make sure working families have up to 12 weeks of partial income when they take leave for serious health conditions, among other reasons. Currently, unpaid leave is offered through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Heitkamp told the Press that the FAMILY Act would “expand the reach” of the FMLA.

The business and the employee would each give about $2 per week to the fund.

While Heitkamp believes the bill would benefit working families, she said the bill will also benefit small business owners who sometimes struggle to provide paid family leave to their employees. She added an employer having to hire a new worker, even for a temporary amount of time, can be costly.

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