Biden pressured to include paid family leave in COVID-19 relief package
A national advocacy group will send letters to top members of President-elect Joe Biden’s economic and domestic policy teams on Tuesday pressuring the new administration to include paid family and sick leave in the coronavirus economic recovery package that Biden is expected to release this week.
“The Biden-Harris administration has made caregiving and the caregiving economy central to the nation’s economic recovery plans,” writes Corinne Roller, the legislative director for PL+US. “Now is the time to seize the bipartisan momentum for paid leave to provide economic security to families and businesses, protect public health, and support our nation’s economic recovery.”
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act included up to 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave for some workers at two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay rate, although that rule expired on Dec. 31.
PL+US and other left-leaning groups are urging Biden to expand on the paid family and sick leave rules by providing at least six months of paid leave to all worker types, expanding access to medical and caregiving needs, allowing for incremental leave, ensuring wage replacement of at least 80 percent, and guaranteeing job protection and anti-retaliation protections.
“The urgent need to prioritize paid leave policy has never been more clear as we continue to confront this dire pandemic and an economic recession that has left millions of families reeling from acute health, caregiving, and financial challenges,” Roller said.
Biden is pulling together what he said would be a multitrillion-dollar relief package that is anchored to $2,000 stimulus checks for all eligible Americans.
The president-elect, who is expected to unveil his new proposal this week, has also said the package will include aid to local governments, businesses and schools, rent assistance for the needy, and billions of dollars for vaccine distribution programs.
“The price tag will be high,” Biden said last week. “The overwhelming consensus among leading economists left, right and center is that in order to keep the economy from collapsing this year, getting much, much worse, we should be investing significant amounts of money right now.”