Families, parents and caregivers are urging Congress to include paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better Legislative Package during the all-day November 2, 2021, in Washington, DC
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When Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, signed a new law on paid family and medical leave last week, the First State became 11th in the people with such a policy.
However, the fate of the federal paid family leave, advocated by the leading Democrats on Capitol Hill, is still uncertain.
Paid family and medical leave was one of the issues Democrats hoped to address through the “Back Better” package they were trying to get through a simple majority this year.
But disagreements between party members did not allow the legislation to be promoted.
Because of this, the party has lost one opportunity to go on family leave, an issue that has largely been unaffected by Congress since the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which gives some workers the opportunity to take unpaid leave for family or medical reasons.
“Currently, federal efforts on a bold paid leave program have stalled,” said Adrien Schwer, head of the paid family leave group at the bipartisan center of politics.
Delaware and Maryland are the last states to add paid family and medical leave policies.
Other states with laws include Rhode Island, California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon and Colorado, as well as Washington, D.C.
In response to the state’s latest steps, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Needs and Resources, Richard Neal, Massachusetts, last week again called for national policy.
While the state’s actions are “encouraging,” “inequality” could exacerbate inequality between women, diverse people and low-paid workers, Neil said in a statement Thursday. Moreover, the policy will create problems for employers working in multiple regions.
“I remain committed to achieving universal federal paid leave and will continue to push for the Senate to act in accordance with Measure of paid home leave we set up the Roads and Funds Committee last year, ”Neil said.
With this proposal, Democrats sought leave of up to 12 weeks for eligible workers. As the Build Back Better negotiations progressed it was reduced to four weeks. Discussions have also shifted to the inclusion of new parents to reduce costs.
Now that negotiations have stopped, the workers remain in uncertainty.
“What we’ve heard from many of our defenders since the Delaware and Maryland victories is anger” over why the policy doesn’t exist in their own state or at the federal level, said Molly Day, executive director of paid leave. for the United States.
“People really see inequality, and it’s going to be an increasing problem for business,” Day said.
However, what is happening next on Capitol Hill is still in the air, says Schwer in the Center for Two-Party Policy.
Democrats are working on another package of reconciliation, but it is not yet clear what it includes.
As soon as the September term expires, it could pave the way for more credible bipartisan discussions on the issue in October, Schwer said.
As this issue is well-questioned by Republican and independent voters, it may arise during the election campaign.
“This fall you will see more candidates talking about this issue from both sides of the aisle,” Schwer said. “Hopefully there will be a call to action at the next Congress.”