Dec 13 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues announced that the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional paid family leave working group is seeking information from experts, researchers, organizations, and others as the Congressional working group explores bipartisan, flexible, sustainable paid leave proposals.

“As a father, grandfather, and former caregiver to my grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s, I know first-hand the value of family and medical leave, and the positive impact it has on individuals and workforce development,” said Senator Tillis. “Parents, families, and economic productivity thrive when employees don’t have to choose between taking care of their family and participating in the workforce. I’m proud to work on a bipartisan basis to pursue family and medical leave policies that will support millions of families across North Carolina and the country.”

The lawmakers penned a letter to a wide range of individuals, organizations, researchers, policy experts, and others to request suggestions for expanding access to paid parental, caregiving, and personal medical leave in a bipartisan, fiscally responsible and sustainable way. 

The full letter can be found HERE and below.

To Whom It May Concern: 

As members of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional working group exploring solutions to expand access to paid leave for all Americans, we write with strong interest in hearing diverse stakeholder input. To inform our efforts, we invite individuals, organizations, researchers, policy experts, and others, to share your suggestions for expanding access to paid parental, caregiving, and personal medical leave in a bipartisan, fiscally responsible and sustainable way. We will closely review submissions to help inform ongoing bipartisan efforts, and individual submissions will be kept confidential. Please note, trustworthy data and research with proper citations will be appreciated.

We invite your response to the following:

1. What should the federal role be, if any, in providing, promoting, and/or incentivizing paid leave? And how should this interact with the role of state government programs, and/or employer programs? 

2. What types of leave should a potential federal program cover, at what length, and why? How should different types of leave be prioritized? Should different types of leave be treated differently or does doing so create adverse effects? 

3. Please describe your recommended framework/s, focusing on what you believe could be a bipartisan and passable solution/s to expanding paid leave nationally?

4. Please describe alternative ways any proposed framework can be financed, including possible payfors. What financial mechanisms should be considered to expand paid leave? 

5. How can proposed paid leave frameworks avoid creating unintended distortions, such as marriage penalties, reductions of private sector paid leave coverage, etc.?

6. Should government support for paid leave be focused only on the most vulnerable individuals in our society, or on all Americans regardless of means or need? 

7. What supports do small and mid-sized businesses need from the federal government to provide paid leave to workers?

8. What does research say about the impact of providing paid leave on worker health, job satisfaction, economic mobility, child development, breastfeeding rates and related health outcomes, fertility rate, infant mortality, elderly health, public assistance levels, family income, and recruitment and retention efforts? 

9. What lessons should the federal government learn from successful or failed attempts at expanding paid leave in U.S. states or other countries? 

10. What other information would you like us to consider as we attempt to chart a bipartisan path forward?