Letter: Vote yes on paid family and medical leave
Nearly everyone, at some point, needs to take time to care for themselves or a loved one. The 1993 federal Family Medical Leave Act allows up to 12 weeks of job-protected time for specified family and medical reasons. This leave is unpaid, and doesn’t apply to everyone.
For me, FMLA let me keep my job when I gave birth, but didn’t cover my pregnancy complication-related work restrictions, nor did it provide any income. I was lucky to have a little PTO in the bank, and six weeks of Short Term Disability, but still went without several paychecks and had no sick days left with an infant in childcare.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, in review by the Minnesota House, provides partial wage replacement for up to 12 weeks for medical reasons (for me, pregnancy complications), and up to 12 weeks for family reasons (for me, caring for a newborn). For someone who earns $1,000 per week, the cost would be $3.50 per week for them, and $3.50 for their employer. The self-employed can opt in. Average wage reimbursement would be about 70% of typical wages.
I’m willing to pay $3.50 per week so my neighbors and I can care for our families when in crisis; how about you? Please contact your legislators and ask them to vote Yes to HF2/SF2 Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
If your employer has ever stated that they care about you, ask them if they support this bill.
Carol Eichenlaub, Rochester