YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 63

Parental and Family Leave Act Origin: Rhode Island State Legislature Bill Name/Number: Temporary Caregiver Insurance Bill (HB 5889) Link: Click here Summary: Passed in 2013, Rhode Island became the third state in the country to offer paid and protected family leave for all workers. The law went into effect last year. Talking Points & Important Information: • Otherwise known as the Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) bill, this law was the first law of its kind in the U.S. to protect the job security of all employees needing to take leave to care for a new child, a seriously ill family member, or personal illness. It ensures that workers can take up to four weeks of protected family leave paid through by a wage replacement fund paid into by state taxes. • Family Values Work, a driving force behind Rhode Island’s initiative, found that more than 70 percent of children in Rhode Island live in families with all parents working, so loss of income for a primary breadwinner and caregiver has significant economic consequences for the whole family.  Many families cannot afford to have one parent miss work to care for a family member, and studies show that many bankruptcies happen after a worker misses two of more weeks of work due to illness. • Similar paid family leave insurance programs in California and New Jersey have proven popular among business owners. A 2011 study of California’s family leave insurance (FMLI) program estimated savings for employers at $89 million a year. The program has been easy to implement and most California employers coordinate their own benefits with the state’s FMLI program. A recent Rutgers study shows that New Jersey’s FMLI program has reduced costs by decreasing turnover and improving productivity. By offering workers job protection, Rhode Island’s TCI bill helps increase employee retention and keep working people in their jobs. • Though innovative, Rhode Island’s family leave is the most modest in terms of benefit amount. For a recent comparison of the three states, check out this article from the Washington Post. 2015 POLICY BOOK STATE INTRO LEVEL PAGE 63