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NH’s U.S. Senators Push For FAMILY Act

Senators Shaheen, Hassan Cosponsor FAMILY Act to Guarantee Paid Family and Medical Leave to All Hard-Working Granite Staters and Americans

WASHINGTON – Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan announced today that they are cosponsoring the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act or FAMILY Act, to create a universal, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave program in order to help support caregivers in the workforce.

“Working Americans should never feel as though they need to compromise their health, or personal family decisions, out of fear of losing their job,” said Senator Shaheen. “Paid family and medical leave is critical to ensuring Granite Staters have the necessary support and peace of mind to prioritize their loved ones and take care of their families. This legislation is an investment in the American workforce and the stability of our economy, and I look forward to working on passing this legislation in the Senate.”

“No Granite Stater should be forced to choose between caring for a loved one and losing a paycheck, and our economy shouldn’t suffer from such a false choice,”Senator Hassan said. “By guaranteeing paid family and medical leave to all hard-working Granite Staters and Americans regardless of where they work, the FAMILY Act is a commonsense measure that will help strengthen families, businesses, and our economy. As we continue working to move this bill forward, I will keep fighting to ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans who work hard have the support they need to get ahead and stay ahead.”

The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national paid leave program, and only 14 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave through their employer. Without a national paid family leave program, the U.S. economy loses almost $21 billion a year, women lose $324,000 in wages and retirement benefits over a lifetime, and men lose $284,000. A lack of a national paid leave program hurts businesses; studies show that businesses incur an additional 20 percent cost to recruit and retrain new workers replacing others who left because they did not have paid leave.

The FAMILY Act establishes a self-sustaining family insurance program for all workers, including the young and elderly, single and married, men and women, regardless of the size of their employer. The program would be modeled after successful state programs, with the funding providing up to 66 percent wage-replacement for 12 weeks in the event of a serious personal or family medical emergency.

Reps Shea-Porter And Kuster Join 112 Colleagues To Reintroduce Paid Family Leave Bill

Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act Would Strengthen New Hampshire Workers’ Economic Security

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined 112 of their colleagues today to reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program and ensure that American workers no longer have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a family member.

“The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that still doesn’t guarantee working parents paid time off to care for their newborns,” said Shea-Porter. “I call on Speaker Ryan to allow a vote on the FAMILY Act, because New Hampshire workers shouldn’t have to choose between their family’s health and economic security.”

“No new parent should have to choose between providing for their family and spending important time caring for and fostering the development of a newborn,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Similarly, no one should lose their livelihood because they need to care for an ill family member. It’s just not right. We must enact policies that support hardworking families in New Hampshire and around the country with commonsense paid family leave policies. It’s good for families and businesses that will benefit from higher worker retention and less turnover.”

A recent University of New Hampshire study found that, “About one-third of New Hampshire workers have jobs without extended paid leave to tend to their own illness; about half lack access to parental leave; and two-thirds lack access to paid leave to care for an ill family member.”

Last week, Shea-Porter introduced another bill to support New Hampshire’s working families, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act, which would boost the tax break’s value and ensure it keeps up with the costs working parents face, including the quickly-rising cost of childcare.

Shea-Porter previously co-introduced the FAMILY Act in 2013, but despite broad support for paid family leave, House Republicans never called a vote on the bill.

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