“For many workers, staying home to take care of a sick child or an aging parent means losing a paycheck—or worse, even losing a job. That is an impossible choice we shouldn’t ask anyone to make—and yet American workers are forced to make it every day.”
HILLARY, NOVEMBER 9, 2015
Today, the United States is the only developed nation in the world with no guaranteed paid leave of any kind. In fact, only 13 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave—with the lowest paid workers up to four times less likely to have access than the highest paid.
Hillary has long believed it’s past time for that to change. In an economy where both men and women typically hold down a paying job and women are breadwinners in two-thirds of families with children, paid family and medical leave is core to our economic growth and competitiveness. Paid leave helps families remain economically stable, benefits children’s early health and development by allowing parents to care for their newborn children, and reduces employee turnover. The availability of paid leave bolsters our economy by allowing more Americans to participate fully in the workforce and ensures that we don’t leave any talent on the sidelines.
As president, Hillary will:
Guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Under Hillary’s plan, workers—men and women—will be guaranteed up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member, such as an elderly, ailing parent or a spouse with cancer, and up to 12 weeks of medical leave to recover from a serious illness or injury of their own.
Enable hard working Americans to support their families economically while on leave. To ensure families remain stable and supported during both joyful and stressful times—like when a new baby arrives, a worker gets cancer, or an employee must care for an elderly parent suffering from Alzheimer’s—Hillary’s plan will provide financial support to workers taking leave. Under her plan, workers who have met a minimum number of hours the previous year will receive a percentage of their income during leave.
Ensure at least a two-thirds wage replacement rate for workers. Hillary’s plan will ensure that the wage replacement rate is at least two-thirds of a worker’s current wages, up to a ceiling, so that low-income and middle class workers receive the financial support they need to take the leave they need.
No new business or employee mandate. Hillary’s plan will not impose additional costs on businesses, including small businesses. There is no business or employee mandate to pay for leave, nor is there a payroll tax to pay for it.
Fund paid leave by making the wealthy pay their fair share, not by increasing taxes on working families. Hillary strongly believes that middle class families deserve a raise, not a tax increase. American families need paid leave, and to get there, Hillary will ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. She’ll ensure that the plan is fully paid for by a combination of tax reforms impacting the most fortunate.