Boston Water & Sewer member Damali Simmonds testified at a statehouse hearing in support of legislation that would create the nation's most comprehensive paid family and medical leave insurance program.
"I had to return to work three months after I gave birth to my beautiful daughter," said Simmonds. "I simply could not afford to take more time off work without pay or I would risk eviction. Mothers are forced to make terrible choices – paid leave would allow me and so many other mothers to stay with their infants when they are most needed."
The paid leave legislation (H2172/S.1048) would make employees in Massachusetts eligible for job-protected paid leave to recover from a serious illness or injury, to care for a seriously ill or injured family member, or to care for a new or adopted child.
Employees taking paid leave would receive partial wage replacement equal to a percentage of their average weekly wages, with a maximum of weekly benefit of either $650 or $1,000. Paid leave would last up to either 12 or 16 weeks to care for a seriously ill or injured family member or to bond with a new child (family leave), and up to 26 weeks for an employee's own serious illness or injury (medical leave).
Benefits would be funded through employer premium contributions to the new Family and Employment Security Trust Fund or to private insurance plans. Employers would be allowed to require employees to contribute up to 50% of the cost of premiums.
For more info, visit Raise Up Massachusetts www.raiseupma.org