Briggs introduces legislation to create paid family leave in PA

HARRISBURG, May 6 – State Rep. Tim Briggs has reintroduced legislation that would support working families by creating a Paid Family Leave Act in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 788 would require employers with at least four employees to provide 12 weeks of paid leave to eligible employees, according to the eligibility requirements under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The leave would be counted against the FMLA leave to which an employee is entitled, for many of the same circumstances as FMLA, with the significant difference that the leave would be paid, not unpaid as provided for under the federal law.   

“Unpaid leave is not the answer because most families cannot afford to go without a paycheck,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery. “New parents need time to care for their children without worrying about how they will afford food and shelter. The past year has demonstrated how important it is to be able to care for an ill family member and still pay the bills. My legislation would strengthen the safety net for families, which is especially important as we work to help our communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The bill has been referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee.

Creating a paid sick and family leave program is one component of PA House Democrats’ Pennsylvania Rescue Plan – a plan for investing the billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds coming to Pennsylvania.

“We want to make sure federal relief funds are invested wisely so that our communities come back stronger than ever, and making sure families have the resources they need is a huge part of that,” Briggs said. “The pandemic demonstrated the importance of supporting workers, and I’m happy to offer legislation to do just that.”