- Delaware lawmakers will weigh two family leave proposals — one paid and the other extended unpaid — Delaware Public Media reports. Both bills would extend family leave benefits for new parents.
- Democratic state Rep. Debra Heffernan (D) is sponsoring a bill that gives state employees, both mothers and fathers, three months of paid leave. It would apply to full-time employees who have been with the same employer for at least a year.
- Meanwhile, a proposal from state Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R) would assist mothers of twins, giving them an extra 12 weeks of unpaid family leave.
The debate between paid and unpaid family leave complicates what is otherwise a mostly bipartisan issue. Lawmakers from both sides generally recognize the value of helping working parents and offering extended leave as an attractive recruiting benefit.
For the most part, Republicans favor unpaid leave, which they believe is less financially burdensome on employers, while Democrats favor paid time off, which benefits all workers, but especially those who can’t afford time off without pay.
Most Americans, too, want paid family leave, but only if their employers foot the bill, a Pew research study revealed.
High-profile employers, such as Deloitte and Chobani have led the way in offering paid family leave in the private sector. But so far, hundreds of companies haven’t followed this course, as expected by some employment specialists. Meanwhile, various state, city and local governments have continued to propose and adopt paid family leave legislation.