Senators propose Paid Family and Medical Leave bill

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Multiple state senators teamed up to propose the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill on Tuesday.

Senator Sue Crawford and Senator Machaela Cavanaugh announced the bill, aimed at providing Nebraska workers with paid time off to take care of themselves or a family member with a serious health condition, to care for a new child, or to attend to the needs of a family member preparing to deploy or recently returning from military service.

The bill, titled the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, would provide time off with partial wage replacement for qualifying reasons for all workers covered by unemployment insurance.

Employees would be provided six weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition or a military family member, and twelve weeks to care for a new child or for one’s own serious health condition, including pregnancy-related complications.

"I am thrilled to be cosponsoring this piece of legislation with Senator Crawford. Nebraska has the opportunity to be a leader in supporting working families. This is an opportunity for individuals to take necessary time away from work to focus on their own recovery or the recovery of a family member without worrying about losing a paycheck,” said Cavanaugh.

“Despite a growing body of evidence on the benefits of paid leave policies, the private market has not stepped up to provide them: only about 16% of workers have access to paid family and medical leave”, said Crawford, “A state paid family and medical leave insurance program will help Nebraska businesses attract and retain workforce and help Nebraskans balance work and family responsibilities.”