The New York State Bar Association today announced its support for federal legislation that would provide American workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income while on leave for certain health conditions, including pregnancy and childbirth recuperation, and the illness of a child, spouse, parent or other family member.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FMILA), sponsored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, expands on a 1993 law that offers unpaid leave and is available to fewer than half the U.S. workforce. The new measure would enable workers to receive 66 percent of their monthly wages, up to a capped amount. It would cover full- and part-time employees in all companies, regardless of their size.
“Each of us at some point likely will face the responsibility of caring for an aging parent or an ill spouse, child or other family member,”said State Bar Association President David P. Miranda of Albany. “The FMILA offers a practical, and long overdue solution that makes sense societally and as effective business practice.”
Under the Gillibrand bill, the paid leave program would be funded with payroll contributions of 0.2 percent from employers and 0.2 percent from employees. An independent trust administered through the new Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security administration would collect fees and pay benefits.
The House of Delegates, the governing body of the State Bar Association, on November 7 approved its FMILA report, prepared by the Association’s Committee on Women in the Law.
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
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