Miller, legislators stand up for families and urge legislature to pass Family Care Act

Bipartisan legislation would provide paid family leave benefits to working Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, today joined his fellow lawmakers to push for bipartisan legislation that would provide paid family leave benefits to working Pennsylvanians.

The Family Care Act would create a statewide family and medical leave insurance program that would provide a basic safety net, creating financial stability for families experiencing a medical crisis.

“This is a smart, commonsense program that will provide hard-working Pennsylvanians the financial stability they need to care for their families when a serious illness strikes or a new child enters their lives,” Miller said. “Serious illnesses are hard, stressful events on a family, and trying to balance a family’s medical needs against work can only add to, and exacerbate, that stress. And it is unfortunate that too many families in Pennsylvania too often find themselves without the financial resources to take time off from their job to care for their families. This legislation would fix that, and help families remain economically stable during these stressful events.”

Funded by a small paycheck contribution and administered by the state Department of Labor and Industry, the program would provide benefits on a graduated scale for up to 20 weeks in an application year. To use paid family leave, an employee must file a claim to be approved by the Department of Labor and Industry and give advanced notice of a scheduled leave to their employer, except in an emergency.

The Family Care Act of Pennsylvania differs from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, because FMLA only guarantees unpaid time off to care for a new child or ill family member in companies that employ 50 or more people. Most Americans cannot sustain their families for more than two weeks without a paycheck, and only 14% of the U.S. workforce has access to any type of paid family leave.

Similar state insurance funds are already in place in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Washington, and Washington, D.C.