CEO group pushes Trump, Congress on paid family, medical leave
An association of CEOs from major U.S. corporations wrote to President Trump and congressional leaders urging them to pass federal legislation to make paid family and medical leave available to more Americans.
The Business Roundtable offered to work with lawmakers to advance legislation on the issue and said a federal solution was necessary so there are uniform standards for employees.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, chairwoman of Business Roundtable’s Education and Workforce Committee, sent the letter on Wednesday to Trump, with White House adviser and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump copied on it, as well as to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
The letter comes as the administration makes a new push to secure legislation on what has been a top priority for Ivanka Trump.
The White House held a summit, spearheaded by Ivanka Trump and attended by the president, on Thursday on the topic. President Trump said to the lawmakers, governors and business leaders who attended that he thinks Congress could pass legislation on paid family leave.
“While most Business Roundtable companies provide very generous paid leave, there is a need for economy-wide action; fewer than 17 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers, and fewer than 41 percent of private sector workers have medical or short-term disability leave,” Rometty wrote.
A provision that provides federal workers with 12 weeks of paid family leave was included in the defense authorization bill that the House passed on Wednesday. Business Roundtable’s CEOs lead private-sector companies with over 15 million employees.
“Legislation should provide uniform standards that apply to all covered employees and that adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act requirements. Doing so would benefit employees needing coverage as well as help businesses challenged by the growing patchwork of competing and inconsistent state plans,” Rometty wrote.