A Better Balance is excited to announce the launch of our updated Model State Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill. Our model bill has served as a useful tool for advocates and lawmakers for all of the state paid family and medical leave insurance programs around the country. We were proud to first prepare this model legislation more than a decade ago with the National Partnership for Women & Families.
This updated model reflects the latest best practices, as well as lessons learned from our firsthand implementation and enforcement work, to ensure that new paid family and medical leave laws are equitable and accessible.
Some of the key updates to the model state paid family and medical leave bill include:
- A family definition that more accurately reflects the diversity of American families. The model bill would give workers the right to take paid family and medical leave to care for any “individual related by blood or whose close association with the covered individual is the equivalent of a family relationship,” ensuring that all of a worker’s closest loved ones are covered, regardless of their legal or biological relationship.
- A graduated wage replacement, wherein workers’ wages are replaced at a higher rate up to a certain threshold. This ensures that workers of any income level can afford to take leave, including low-income workers for whom it is critical that wages be replaced at a high enough rate that permits them to take leave without experiencing financial hardship.
- Safe leave as a covered purpose so that workers can take leave when they or their loved ones are survivors of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. This critical protection, which has been extended in six of the paid family and medical leave programs on the books, ensures that workers can care for themselves and their families without worrying about their paycheck.
- Giving self-employed workers the ability to opt in to the program. Like the vast majority of paid family and medical leave programs, the model bill would ensure that self-employed workers can choose to participate in the program, maximizing the number of workers covered under the bill.
We are hopeful that this model bill can support more inclusive and equitable paid family and medical leave policies nationwide. Please contact Sherry Leiwant or Cassandra Gomez for more information about the model bill.