Business Roundtable, an association of U.S. CEOs that advocates for business-friendly public policy, last week called for congress to make paid family and medical leave available to as many American workers as possible.
The letter comes as support increases for a national paid family leave law.
The latest defense spending bill passed by Congress includes paid family and medical leave for federal workers. The President has said he will sign the bill, which ties the proposed law to the creation of a new U.S. Space Force.
The CEOs say extending such a law to all workers will help “millions of employees in every state address the demands of parenting, family or personal illness, caregiving, and other exigencies that are part of daily life outside of work.”
Most don’t have paid medical leave
In the letter, the business leaders noted that fewer than 17% of workers currently have access to paid family and medical leave through their employers. Fewer than 41% of private-sector workers have access to paid medical or short-term disability leave, they say.
Also, the Business Roundtable sees the current patchwork of local and state paid family leave laws creating challenges for employers and employees.
But the group did not suggest specific rules or benefits that should be included in a national paid family and medical leave law.
They said only that it should adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which mandates unpaid leave for eligible employees.
The group also calls for flexibility for employers to administer paid family and medical leave benefits on behalf of workers, including managing their own plans if self-funded and offering different benefits to different types of workers.