Benefits Byte

October 13, 2021

Council Communications Describe Ongoing Challenges for Plan Sponsors and Workers with Paid Family and Medical Leave Legislation

As we have previously reported, one of the most significant employee benefit issues currently under consideration in Congress is a proposal to establish a federal program to provide paid family and medical leave to working Americans. This proposal is included in the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act (BBBA) – a budget measure that both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote on in the coming weeks.

In 2020 the Council’s board of directors adopted a statement of principles setting forth conditions under which we support universal paid leave. An ongoing role for employer programs and uniformity for multistate employers are paramount. Earlier this year the Council established the Leveraging Employers And Valuing Employees (LEAVE) Coalition to coordinate our advocacy in support of those principles. 

Under the auspices of both the Council and the LEAVE Coalition, we have produced numerous documents to explain to policymakers the Council’s objectives and the challenges presented by the current structure of the legislation. Below are links to these documents to assist plan sponsors in examining the proposal and its  implications.

We call your attention, in particular, to the most recent document we shared on October 7 with all members of Congress and the Biden administration, briefly describing in an easy-to-read table the main operational problems with the paid leave provisions of the BBBA, followed by text explaining why the issues are significant and how they can be fixed. The following documents are available for your review on the Council website:

  • A September 8 comprehensive summary of the family and medical leave provisions of the BBBA, provided courtesy of Davis & Harman, LLP. 
  • A September 28 detailed memo, sent to Congress describing concerns with the legislation.
  • A September 17 interested parties memo by the national polling firm ALG Research, summarizing a national on-line poll commissioned by the Council on voter attitudes.

For more information, please contact Ilyse Schuman, senior vice president, health policy.