Paid Leave for the Price of Coffee

The conversation around paid leave is getting louder on both sides. While Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on how to pay for it, it is undeniable that paid leave has gone #mainstream.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D) reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act earlier this year, which would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave, whether they were a new parent, a caregiver, or ill themselves.

Gillibrand believes in providing national paid leave as an earned benefit and policies such as paid family leave were central to her candidacy.

The US is the most expensive nation in the world in which to have a baby – and it may factor into thousands of bankruptcies each year
— The Guardian
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“As a mother with two sons, I know firsthand how important it is for an infant’s development to have their parent with them in those first few months,Paid leave would have important health benefits for all Americans.”

The US also has the worst rate of maternal mortality in the developed world. That means America is simultaneously the most expensive and one of the riskiest industrialized nations in which to have children.
— The Guardian

What’s the deal about paying for it ?

Gillibrand proposes paying for it with a 0.2 percent tax on worker’s wages- this  would be split between employers and employees.

Eligible workers could earn 66% of their monthly wages, this would mean an approximately $2.00 per week payroll contribution for employees.

Why would this proposal never make it to the president’s desk ?

The FAMILY Act proposes legislation that would increase taxes and also puts a government mandate on employers. Republicans are opposed to both.

84% of Americans across both parties support a federal paid family leave program.

The question is, would we agree to an increase of payroll taxes for the price of a cup of coffee?