On Tuesday, the bipartisan Commission to Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program presented its final report and findings to the Labor and Housing Committee.
Some of the highlights from the report include:
Recommending a 12-week maximum limit for a particular qualifying need and a 16-week combined maximum limit. When it comes to having a baby, an individual may take leave to bond with a newborn or adopted child within the first 12 months of benefits being paid out.
Mirroring the reasons for leave that are permissible under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act ( to care for a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or military deployment) with the addition of safe leave, which addresses medical and non-medical needs stemming from domestic violence, harassment or stalking.
Ensuring the program includes all employees (full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers, both in the private and public sectors). Self-employed workers can opt into the program. Employees eligible for benefits must have worked within the prior four quarters.
Guaranteeing that the proposed program will be free for small business owners with less than 15 employees. The total cost for larger employers and employees will be less than one percent of an employee's paycheck.
Recent polling showed that 73% of Mainers support a paid family and medical leave program. But we’ve known this! Too many Mainers have been forced to go right back to work after having a baby, or been unable to take the time they need to care for their ailing loved ones.
It’s critical that the Committee listen to not only the Commission and its findings, but Mainers themselves, whose lives would be changed for the better with access to a comprehensive paid family leave program. Sign here to join us in telling the Maine Legislature that now is the time to pass PFML!