A Pennsylvania senator says he plans to introduce legislation that would provide for a more comprehensive parental leave plan in the state.
Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) said his bill would allow mothers and fathers of newborn children, who work more than 20 hours per week at companies with at least 20 employees, up to 12 weeks of leave at full pay.
The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows for 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
In a memo to colleagues seeking co-sponsors for his legislation, Leach said unpaid leave is a financially unrealistic option for many workers, particularly low-income women who live in or on the borders of poverty and can't afford to miss a single paycheck.
"Most industrialized nations provide some relief by allowing parents to take some time off work to tend to their needs without having to worry about how they'll pay the bills," Leach said in a news release. "Paid family leave is something that all parents of young children in Pennsylvania deserve to take advantage of, and with this bill I aim to change the current system so that receiving those benefits can become a reality."
Leach said studies have shown that providing paid leave produces significant positive outcomes for parents, children and the organizations for which they work.