Here we go.
Last December, I talked about how a legislative proposal to bring paid family and medical leave to Connecticut was likely.
Turns out, not only was it likely, but that there would be a big public relations push on it as well.
The bill is still in its formative stages at the legislature, but the essence of the proposal is an employee-funded system with employers withholding a percentage of the employee’s pay. The Hartford Courant reported on this push this week.
In yesterday’s CT News Junkie, Carolyn Treiss, the Executive Director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, posted a notable piece on why the time is right for paid family & medical leave.
The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), two organizations that worked on the original FMLA legislation, are teaming up in leading the charge on this expanded version of family and medical leave, because women are still the primary caregivers in times of need. To be sure, paid leave would benefit everyone, regardless of gender. But the reality is that too many women of childbearing age see their careers derailed just as they are taking off. Women in their mid-20s to early 40s are the demographic employers seek most often, and yet the biological clock has its own imperatives. And what of women at the prime of their careers who must increasingly act on behalf of aging parents, or who suddenly find themselves dealing with an illness of their own (or that of a spouse)? It’s hard to “lean in” when there’s no employer-sponsored provision to lean against.
The CBIA has previously issued a report noting that this type of program would be similar to an unemployment compensation scheme — and very expensive to implement.
I’ll be talking about this and more at a presentation tonight at the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Committee meeting. My talk — really more of a discussion — will be on three “hot” items in employment law for 2015. Hope to see you there.
For the rest of you, keep a close eye on this important legislative development this year.