The breakaway caucus of Democrats that shares power of the state Senate wants to see new paid leave laws included in the state budget, hosting a news conference Tuesday to push the plan.
The IDC’s family leave plan would guarantee six weeks of paid leave whenever a new child enters the home or a close family member is afflicted with a serious illness.
The “Family Leave Insurance” plan aims to provide biological mothers and fathers, same-sex parents, adoptive parents, and foster parents 50 percent of their average weekly wage for six weeks by 2018. The plan was introduced by Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, and members of the IDC, and would cost the state $125 million a year.
The rest of the cost would be covered by a surcharge on employees, phased in a $2.61 annually per employee in 2016 to $8.44 in 2018.
Currently, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act entitles employees to 12 workweeks of leave for a birth of a child, adoption of a child, or if a close family member is afflicted with a serious illness, but does not guarantee paid leave. The state’s temporary disability assistance program applies to maternity leave, but only includes biological mothers.
“There are certain moments in life when no one should be forced to choose between a paycheck and their family,” Klein said. “But right now, our state is forcing thousands of working families to make that impossible choice every single day.”