The House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a hearing tomorrow on the critical lack of access to universal paid family and medical leave across the country. Chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, sponsor of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, the committee will hear testimony from key witnesses regarding the impact and possible long-term solutions to the problem.
Witnesses include Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), sponsor of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would establish a paid federal family and medical leave insurance program for up to 12 weeks. Special education teacher Jacqui Silvani will also testify. Silvani lost her job when she took a leave of absence to deal with her son’s battle with cancer. Other witnesses include Jennifer Tucker, senior policy advisor for the Black Women’s Roundtable and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Vicki Shabo, a senior fellow at New America’s Better Life Lab, and Aaron Seyedian, founder of Well-Paid Maids.
While the current federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, only 60 percent of Americans can access that due to limitations on what kind of employees are eligible. Additionally, many cannot afford to take time off without pay. Overall, only 17 percent of workers have access to paid family leave. The U.S. is one of only two nations that does not offer some form of paid leave.
Source: House Oversight Committee 12/9/19; National Partnership For Women and Families