Vicki Shabo Submits Statement for House Committee Hearing Record Praising Key Paid Leave Provisions in the Building an Economy for Families Act

Congressional Testimonies
June 7, 2021

Vicki Shabo, senior fellow for paid leave policy and strategy, submitted a statement for the record related to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee's Worker and Family Support Subcommittee's May 27, 2021, hearing on universal paid leave and child care. Shabo praised House Ways and Means' Chairman Richard Neal's Building an Economy for Families Act as approach that will maximize inclusion, equity and appropriate utilization. Specifically, Shabo's letter calls out the following features of the Neal proposal:

  • Coverage across workers' lifespan by making paid leave benefits available for all serious family and personal health and caregiving needs covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
  • Twelve weeks' duration to ensure workers have adequate time to care, heal and recover from their serious personal or family care or health need
  • Progressive, sliding-scale wage replacement to ensure leave is affordable for all workers, including low-wage workers
  • Inclusive definition of family members for whom a worker can provide care
  • Harmonization of existing state programs with the new federal benefit so that workers in "legacy states" have access to the benefits they and they state lawmakers have put in place
  • A well-thought out application process
  • Resources to ensure workers know about and have help accessing the new paid leave program

Shabo submitted her letter on the same day as new polling shows that voters in key states overwhelmingly support a national paid family and medical leave program, and want Congress to act quickly by enacting paid leave as part of a jobs, families and infrastructure plan.

Related Topics
Family-Supportive Social Policy