Biden Budget Proposes National Paid Family and Medical Leave

Biden Budget Proposes National Paid Family and Medical LeavePresident Joe Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 includes a national paid family and medical leave program and urges Congressional action on mandatory paid sick leave.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Biden’s budget would establish a national paid family and medical leave program that would be administered by the Social Security Administration and provide workers with progressive, partial wage replacement to take time off for family and medical reasons. More specifically, the president’s plan would provide up to 12 weeks of leave for eligible workers to:

  • Care for and bond with a new child;
  • Care for a seriously ill loved one;
  • Heal from their own serious illness;
  • Address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment; and
  • Find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking (“safe leave”).

In addition, the program would provide up to three days to grieve the death of a loved one. The proposed program would include robust administrative funding and use an inclusive family definition.

Paid Sick Leave

The budget additionally states that the president “continues to call on Congress” to require employers to provide all workers with seven job-protected paid sick days each year and ensure that employers cannot penalize workers for taking time off to address their or their families’ health needs or for safe leave.

Background

The budget proposal would have to be passed by Congress to become law. Biden has proposed national paid leave before without success.
The introductory language to the paid family and medical leave proposal states that the vast majority of America’s workers do not have access to employer-provided paid family leave, including 73% of private-sector workers. The language also says that among the lowest-paid workers, who are disproportionately women and workers of color, 94% lack access to paid family leave through their employers, and as many as 1 in 5 retirees leave the workforce early to care for an ill family member.

[This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2024 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. ]

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