YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 67

Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 Origin: City Council of Washington, D.C Bill Name/Number: B21-0415 Link: Click here Summary: Introduced in October 2015, this legislation would offer almost every part-time and full-time employee in the District of Columbia 16 weeks of paid family leave to take care of a newborn or adopted child, recover from an illness, recuperate from a military deployment, or tend to an ill family member. Talking Points & Important Information: • To be paid from a new tax on D.C. employers, this benefit would dwarf family leave assistance found in all 50 states. In addition to the 16 weeks – more than double the length of any paid-leave program in the country – the legislation would also offer an unprecedented 100 percent of pay for those making up to $52,000 annually. • As the National Partnership for Women & Families points out, research continues to show the pressing need for paid family and medical leave for working families. Over the past several decades, there has been an increased participation of pregnant women and caregivers in the workforce. In fact, 75 percent of women entering the workforce today will become pregnant at least once while employed. Research suggests that most will continue working into their sixth – or more commonly their ninth – month of pregnancy and that more than 40 percent will return to work less than three months after giving birth. • As the Center for American Progress aptly asserts, about half of all workers on U.S. payrolls today are women. Moreover, the majority of mothers, whether married or single, work outside the home, meaning that in most American families, all of the adults work and there is no full-time stay-at-home caregiver. This is not just a “women’s issue” since the changing nature of our families impacts men and women, adults and children. Indeed, as our population continues to rapidly age, more and more workers are finding themselves providing elder care to their aging parents as well. • For more on the various protections offered to working mothers and their families throughout the country, click here. 2015 POLICY BOOK LOCAL LEVEL PAGE 67