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Podcast: Will Nationwide Paid Family Leave Ever Become Reality?

While the US is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee its citizens paid family leave, there is a growing push to change that. On this podcast, the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) Lisa Horn joins XpertHR Legal Editor David Weisenfeld to discusses how the various proposals might fare amidst gridlock in Congress. Horn is SHRM's vice president of policy engagement.

Speaking at SHRM's Employment Law and Legislative Conference in Washington, DC about the possibility of paid family leave, Horn said, "It absolutely has to be bipartisan to get anywhere in this town." Horn added, though, that she is more optimistic than in the past because both parties are offering up what she called "solid proposals" so she sees things moving in the right direction.

Polls show overwhelming support for some form of paid family leave, with a few states having passed measures of their own. But Horn noted there are a lot of moving parts to the debate, including:

  • Who is going to pay for it?
  • What will be an employer's responsibilities?
  • What is the scope of the leave (just new parents of all FMLA-qualifying events)?

Horn suggested that having a federal framework for paid family leave that makes sense for both employers and employees would be "incredibly helpful" because various state paid leave requirements can create a "compliance conundrum."

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Additional Resources

Paid Family Leave Requirements by State and Municipality