On Tuesday, State Senate President Robert Travaglini addressed the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and described a proposal for paid family leave that we’ve been discussing here on Blue Mass Group ever since. I just listened to a broadcast of Travaglini’s speech, and want to report his take on the proposal.
Travaglini stressed that this is still a proposal, not a bill about to be voted on. He expects that it will go through some changes during the drafting and committee process. He also stressed that it is not an impulse announcement, but rather the result of years of study and work by previous legislative and executive elected officials, and consultation with the MIT Workplace Center. It’s modeled on a successful family leave law in California, but goes further.
- Paid leave would be available for up to 12 weeks a year, for parents of newborn children, people with medical emergencies, and families of people with medical emergencies.
- The program would be funded by a contribution from employees, not employers.
- Paid leave would only be available to employees who had been with their employer for at least 9 months or put in at least 900 hours (equivalent to about 5-6 months of full time work)
- People seeking paid leave for medical reasons would need a letter from a doctor.
- There would be penalties for fraudulent claims for paid leave.
- Paid leave would begin after five days during which the employee uses either vacation time or sick time.