A CHANCE FOR SMART FAMILY LEAVE IN NEW YORK
by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo / March 2, 2016
PHOTO CAPTION: Across the country only 5 percent of companies have fully paid maternity leave, and 58 percent have some paid leave, according to a 2014 study by the Families and Work Institute. Photo Credit: iStock
This year, our state has a chance to take a historic step forward to restore fairness, opportunity and economic security to working families. I’ve proposed a policy of 12 weeks of paid family leave that would support working parents who need time off to bond with a new child or others who need to care for a loved one facing a serious illness. It would be the most robust such program in the nation — and it would show the nation what it means to stand up for and help working families.
Yet in recent days, some have suggested that this policy would hurt small businesses or advance a perception of New York as anti-business. These suggestions could not be further from the truth.
The proposal would cost employers nothing. Instead, the program would be paid for by a small deduction from employees — about 70 cents per paycheck in the first year of the program, and $1.47 per paycheck when fully implemented in 2021. And in the event that an employer needs to hire temporary help or rely on overtime work while a worker is out, that employer would have the ability to do so because he or she wouldn’t be paying the worker’s salary. In other words, there would be no negative impact on a company’s bottom line.
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