Bill for paid family leave program proposed

Bill would provide workers up to $1,000 in weekly benefits paid for by employer and employees.

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The state Legislature is considering a proposal to create a paid family and medical leave program. The majority of state lawmakers believe that paid family leave is long overdue.

President Donald Trump vowed to establish paid family leave in his first address to Congress last week. They want to take President Trump’s proposal even further in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts law currently gives parents eight weeks of leave after the birth or adoption of a child. It’s up to employers to decide whether or not to pay their employees during the time off.

Ashland State Senator Karen Spilka has filed a bill to provide workers up to $1,000 in weekly benefits paid for by both the employer and employees. Both new parents and injured workers would qualify for the program.

“We need to support families in general to give that support,” Spilka explained. “And children need their fathers as much as they need their mothers, so I think we need to expand it a bit.”

The bill passed the Senate last session, but died in the House.