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Gillibrand Proposes Paid Family Leave Bill

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York state
File photo
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York state

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing legislation that would establish a paid family and medical leave insurance plan. Under the current family leave law eligible employees are granted unpaid, job-protected leave up to three months. That's for serious health problems, family emergencies or maternity leave.

While in Rochester on Friday, Gillibrand says the policy is outdated and forces workers to choose between receiving a paycheck and caring for themselves or loved ones. 

"This paid leave bill basically is an earned benefit that every employee would put a small amount of money in every week. Every employer would put a small amount of money. It's about the cost of a cup of coffee a week."

That "cup of coffee" Gillibrand says equals out to .2 percent of an employees income. The money will go into a  an independent trust fund that the Social Security Administration manages.

The Senator says the earned benefit pays out 66-percent of a worker's monthly wages.

Gillibrand says she's working on gaining support from her Republican colleagues to get the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act passed by the end of the Congressional session.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is co-sponsoring the bill in the House.