Limited Access to Paid Family Leave
Most people will need to take time off work to care for themselves or their families at some point, but only one in five (21%) workers have access to paid family leave through their employer. That share is even lower for low-wage and part-time workers, and in certain occupations.
Congress is considering creating a universal paid family and medical leave program as part of the Build Back Better Act, which Democrats are looking to pass through the budget reconciliation process relying on Democratic votes. The proposal guarantees 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave annually to all workers in the United States for several qualifying reasons, including welcoming a new child, recovering from a serious illness, and caring for a seriously ill family member. It’s unclear how the program would be financed or whether more changes will be made as pressure to reduce the cost of the social spending package could limit the bill’s scope.