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PSN on April 19, 2007 - 10:07am
This past week, the Washington State House voted to approve five weeks of paid leave for parents with a new born or adopted child, following earlier approval of a broader Senate measure, SB 5659, that would have also included paid leave to to take care of a seriously ill parent. Another advantage of the law is that parents in employers with 25 or more employees would have their jobs protected while away, more job protection than under federal law which covers only employers with 50 or more employees.
While the scaled-down Washington House version is less ambitious, and finding funding for the program has been deferred to a study task force, it is still encouraging that Washington will likely become the second state with family leave, following California which a number of years ago began offering employees six weeks of paid leave (up to $822 per week) for a new child or to take care of a loved one.
Other State Action:
- In Oregon, the state House has approved HB 2575, which offers six weeks of up to up to $350 per week to care for a new child or ill family member.
- The New Jersey Senate Labor Committee has approved a bill, S2249, to allow up to twelve weeks of $502 in weekly benefits.
- And the Working Families Party and other coalition partners are working to move a paid family leave bill through the New York legislature.
As we discussed a few months ago, the United States remains one of the only countries on earth where new parents do not have some form of paid leave. State by state, we are beginning to remove that anti-family blot in our public policy.