Harrisburg, Pa. — January 30, 2020 — Senator Maria Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks), Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), and advocates from across the Commonwealth held a press conference on Tuesday following a hearing of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee on the Pennsylvania Family Care Act (SB 580).
“Advocates reminded us of the many instances in which Pennsylvania’s families and economy would benefit from the Family Care Act,” said Senator Collett. “And while opponents raised questions and concerns, they primarily focused on the notion at employers know what their employees want and are best suited to decide if, when and under what circumstances paid family leave is deserved. Yet we know that only 17% of Pennsylvania’s employees have access to such benefits. The private market has yet to fill this need. And it is unrealistic in today’s economy to think they can or will. SB 580, the Family Leave Act, offers a more robust, cost-effective and worker-friendly solution.”
Alongside family leave advocates from across the Commonwealth and the bills’ cosponsors in the House and Senate, Senators Collett and Laughlin renewed their call to pass this essential legislation. Every day, Pennsylvanians struggle to care for themselves and their loved ones without access to paid family and medical leave.
“No family should have to choose between their income and caring for a critically ill child, recovering from breast cancer, or caring for a dying parent,” said Senator Laughlin. “The Family Care Act is pro-family, pro-small business legislation that allows family to care for family, and small businesses to attract and retain talented employees.”
Under The Family Care Act, all working individuals would make small contributions from their weekly earnings to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, which would be administered by the Department of Labor & Industry. Workers can then draw from the fund to care for themselves or a close family member in the event of a serious health condition, to care for a new child, or to care for a member of the military in qualifying circumstances. Leave benefits will be calculated on a graduated scale to make sure the program is accessible to all workers, regardless of earnings.