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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2019 / Vol 42 No2

110 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

110 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK JIM TRUESDELL SEEKING COMMON GROUND ON PAID FAMILY LEAVE from page 28 A report from the Urban Institute stressed that is put together by the employer based on the value of this plan would lead to a loss of benefits at the end the particular woman employee to the business and of a worker’s life. Since taking two months paid leave the capability of the business to pay for it. One in four could delay social security retirement benefits by six women return to work less than two weeks after giving months under the proposal, some were arguing that the birth. This is often because they need the money even exchange of paid time should be on a one to one basis. though they and the child are missing out on important Of course that would mean a subsidy would have to bonding time which can have long term impact on come from somewhere since money taken in the present mental health. Currently about 20 million leaves are day for family leave would be more than the present being taken each year under the Family and Medical value of retirement money in the far off future. Leave Act—about one-fifth for birth of a new child. Many It is a good thing that voices from all sides of the large businesses do provide paid time off, but this puts political spectrum are calling for action on this issue. As small businesses that are financially unable to bear this is often the problem, however, the merits of the issue cost at a competitive disadvantage in the employment get bogged down in who is going to get the political market. Even while the FMLA is working, it imposes quite credit for solutions when the two interest groups should a burden of paperwork on employers who must properly be celebrating a consensus that action is needed. The document and track leave and ensure job positions are public is clearly calling for government to function on a properly held open. This can be a problem for smaller more bipartisan basis. That is not helped when those businesses who lack HR departments and the depth of who have been pushing for a program like paid leave workers to deal with prolonged absences. But they will attack ingenious remedies merely because they assert probably have to live with this since documentation and the proponent is “late to the party” in recognizing the tracking is necessary to be sure workers who should not problem. One can see some of this in the icy reception really be entitled to a leave do not abuse the system. many gave the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump when Since the original FMLA was enacted, the percentage she publicly called for a workable paid family leave. of mothers (with children under the age of 18) who are That being said, there are great arguments for working has risen to 70 per cent. Many millions of these coming up with a workable program. Rick Santorum, families are headed by single women who struggle to former U.S. Senator from Maine outlined many of these patch together childcare so they can go to work to bring in an essay early this Fall. He pointed out that middleincome Americans are being squeezed from all directions be found, the cost of professional day care can often home their only income. If helpful family or friends cannot and need all the help we can give them as they raise exceed that of college tuition and fees. The cost of child the next generation. People are having fewer children care has gone up far faster than most other expenses. not only because they are delaying the average age of Santorum has joined with the Bipartisan Policy marriage, but because we are experiencing declining Center’s Task Force on Paid Family Leave along with fertility rates. Many women hesitate to have children or legislators of both parties to come up with an actionable, limit the number of children because of the inability of fiscally responsible federal leave program to help people the family budget to withstand a substantial time period balance work and family. With Republicans joining without a paycheck. Santorum cited Bureau of Labor Democrats in consensus on this issue there may well statistics showing that 85 per cent of working women be hope for progress. The Rubio-Wagner plan, looking to do not have a clearly defined pregnancy leave benefit social security and giving workers choices, would seem at their workplace. There is either no leave program to be fair to businesses, working parents, and to the at their employer (or they don’t qualify) or a response federal budget! JIM TRUESDELL

MWFA/PAC-WEST/NFDA JOINT CONFERENCE OMNI HOTEL, SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 13-16, 2019 more photos on page 119

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