Lawmakers considering public comments on ballot petition for paid leave

The legislature can choose to pass the petition before it gets to the ballot

BOSTON (WWLP) – Should Massachusetts grant workers paid family and medical leave? It’s an issue you could see on the ballot.

Massachusetts lawmakers are currently considering public comment on a petition after a hearing before the Labor and Workforce Development Committee.

Should Massachusetts have paid family and medical leave?

The petition would provide workers with up to 16 weeks of job-protected paid leave to care for a new child or sick or injured family member. Workers would also get up to 26 weeks paid medical leave.

An eastern Massachusetts based public relations firm called Inkhouse offers employees 12 weeks of employer funded leave. CEO Beth Monaghan supports the legislation and views paid family and medical leave as a basic human right.

Minimum wage increase and paid leave proposed for 2018 ballot

“It is so important to me to give them a supportive workplace and they stay with me for a really long time in return,” she said.

Under the petition, leave benefits would be funded by the employer and they could require employees to contribute as well. But critics argue the move could be costly for small businesses and hurt productivity.

The legislature can choose to pass the petition before it gets to the ballot. They have until May take action.

What questions could be on the 2018 ballot?