As 2020 ushers in a new decade, it brings with it many changes to paid family and medical leave laws throughout the U.S.—a cause for celebration for workers and their families. Washington State’s paid family and medical leave program officially went live on January 1. Workers can now receive benefits for up to 12 weeks for medical leave or family leave, up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period. Nearly all employees in the state are covered, including both public and private sector workers, and self-employed workers can opt in to coverage.
Since 2015, we've worked closely with advocates and lawmakers to push for a comprehensive paid family & medical leave program in Tennessee. On Wednesday, we joined State Representative Gloria Johnson in Knoxville to announce the Tennessee Family Insurance Act, a bill to grant paid family and medical leave to all workers in the state. Under this proposal, employees would contribute a small amount each month to a paid family and medical leave insurance fund.
The proposed Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (“COMPS”) Order would expand coverage to many workers who were previously excluded, including individuals employed in construction and manufacturing. The proposed rule will also set a salary threshold for overtime at $42,500 and adjust it up to $57,500 by 2026, ensuring that many more low-wage workers are entitled to overtime.
This weekend, Oregon passed a robust and inclusive paid family & medical leave law, becoming the ninth state to do so nationwide. The law will provide up to 12 weeks of income to those who need to take time off work to recover from a serious health condition, care for a seriously ill loved one, or welcome a new child, with an additional two weeks of leave available for pregnancy-related complications.
Besides improving the well-being of thousands of working families in CT and ME, it’s laws like these that help pave the way for eventual federal solutions. These victories are both huge steps forward in our continuing effort to ensure that all workers can take time to care for themselves and their families without risking their economic security.
Our Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst, who joined the Governor at the dais, spoke about the need to modernize New York’s pay equity laws by passing the salary history ban and extending wage discrimination protections to all protected classes.
ABB’s Senior Staff Attorney, Jared Make, has been based in Denver since last year, where he has become engaged in statewide advocacy on ABB’s issues. Now that Colorado’s 2019 legislative session has ended, we’re excited to share several recent policy advances with you!
Our new policy brief--State of Our State: Women in the Workforce, released jointly with nonpartisan think tank ThinkTennessee--highlights the systemic barriers in Tennessee that prevent women, especially women of color and mothers, from achieving economic security.
The record-breaking wave of women running for office this election season and the soaring voter turnout made a difference. Last night's election results indicate many opportunities and of course some ongoing challenges to advancing the rights of women and all caregivers across the country.
Medicaid recipients who can and do work are at risk of losing health care coverage, since low-wage workers are more likely to be underemployed and to face unpredictable work schedules over which they often have no control. This is just one of the challenges that many of ABB’s clients and others already face in balancing work and their responsibilities in caring for children and other family members.