What Is the FAMILY Act?

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The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act was reintroduced in Congress in 2021 and is known as S. 463 and H.R. 1185. The Act has been introduced repeatedly during legislative sessions for the past 7 years but has yet to progress.

The FAMILY Act strives to create paid time off at a portion of previous wages—in contrast to the current Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides only unpaid time off.

Like the FMLA, the FAMILY Act would provide leave for a serious health condition or for someone to assist a family member with a serious health condition. It would also be applicable to pregnancy, childbirth, or another addition of a child, as well as have military caregiving provisions. These components all appear to mirror their counterparts in the FMLA, as does the time frame involved—up to 12 weeks.

How Does the FAMILY Act Differ from FMLA?

You may be wondering how the FAMILY Act differs from the FMLA.

The biggest difference is that the leave would be paid. The plan proposes to pay 66% of an individual’s wages or up to a capped monthly amount, whichever is lower.

Another difference is eligibility requirements. The program proposes to create an insurance fund employees contribute to over time; because of this, people would remain eligible even after moving or changing employers, as long as they have a sufficient work history. The work history requirement would require earned income during the preceding 12 months. This means there would be no requirement to work for an eligible employer with 50+ employees and would expand eligibility well beyond today’s FMLA.

From the contribution side, it’s proposed that employees would contribute a small amount through a payroll tax of 0.2%—which typically equates to less than $2 each week—into the insurance fund….

Source: HR Daily Advisor

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