The Woodward News

Community News Network

December 30, 2013

States make moves toward paid family leave

(Continued)

Under the 20-year-old Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, eligible workers are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid family leave every year to care for an infant or sick relative. The United States, alone among all advanced economies and many developed nations, has no national policy allowing paid family leave. Other countries give families as much as one year of paid leave, which is divided between mothers and fathers.

The FMLA covers employees who have worked full time for at least one year at a company with more than 50 employees. A Labor Department survey released in February found that 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is not eligible. And many of those who are, the survey noted, cannot afford to take it.

Some business groups and lawmakers, worried about the sluggish economy and weak job growth, say that paid-leave laws could hurt businesses.

"At a time when there are soaring deficits and many businesses are still struggling, paid leave becomes yet another entitlement program," said Lisa Horn, a senior government relations adviser for the Society for Human Resource Management, a business group that, along with local chambers of commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, has fought paid family leave. "That's a difficult pill for the business community to swallow."

Doreen Costa, a Rhode Island Republican lawmaker who voted against paid family leave this summer, said she thinks that it will hurt small businesses in her district.

"It's bad here. Businesses in my district aren't just hurting, they're closing," she said. "I'm very concerned about what will happen in January."

In Rhode Island, workers pay 1.2 percent of the first $61,400 in earnings into the state's Temporary Disability Insurance to cover off-the-job injury and illness. The new law opens that fund to workers who need to care for a new child or sick family member, and gives them up to four weeks of job-protected leave paid at about 60 percent of their salary, up to a cap of about $750 a week.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo