PUMP Supports the Family Care Act – Paid Family and Medical Leave for PA

PUMP Author Access to Health + Wellness, Active + Engaged Residents, Advocacy, Featured Advocacy, Opportunities for Success, Paid Leave, Priority Issues

PUMP is pleased to announce our support for the Family Care Act, which would establish a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund for Pennsylvania employees. We believe that all Pennsylvanians should have access to paid leave options that empower them to care for themselves and for their loved ones.

The bipartisan statewide legislation was officially introduced at a press conference in Harrisburg on June 5 by State Representatives Wendi Thomas (R – serving part of Bucks County) and Dan Miller (D – serving part of Allegheny County), and Senators Dan Laughlin (R – serving part of Erie County) and Maria Collett (D – serving part of Bucks and Montgomery Counties). Watch the full press conference here.

The campaign in support of the Family Care Act is being led by the Women & Girls Foundation and PathWays PA – read the press release here.

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Why the Family Care Act?

The United States is the only developed nation in the world without a federal paid family and medical leave program. States across the country have stepped up to address the need through family and medical leave legislation – including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Washington, and Washington D.C. – and have seen significant socioeconomic benefits not just for employees, but also for employers. Small businesses especially benefit from the ability to provide paid leave benefits at no cost, allowing them to compete with large businesses for top-tier talent.

Under the Family Care Act, Pennsylvania employees would pay into a fund via a small payroll deduction ($0.59 for every $100 earned) and be able to receive paid family and medical leave benefits to care for themselves in the event of a serious health condition, to care for a close family member with a serious health condition, to care for a new child, or for a qualifying exigent circumstance involving a member of the military. Learn more about how paid family and medical leave works.

78% of Pennsylvania adults, across all political parties, favor establishing a statewide paid leave program. Furthermore, a majority of young professionals and millennials throughout the U.S. cite benefits packages as very important in choosing a job; paid leave is one of the top benefits cited (sources: 1, 2, 3).

Many millennials support paid leave programs specifically to help them care for aging parents – a need that is especially relevant here, as Pennsylvanians 85 and older make up the fastest growing segment of our population. The average age in Allegheny County (41) is 0.2 years higher than Pennsylvania’s average (40.8) and nearly 3 years higher than the average age for the United States (38.1).

The Family Care Act addresses many of the values highlighted in PUMP’s Advocacy + Public Policy Agenda, including:

  • Affordable, high-quality, comprehensive healthcare options for all
  • Individual, community, and financial support for education, employment, and entrepreneurship
  • A competitive business environment that supports equitable opportunities and creates good paying jobs

When it comes to caring for yourself or your loved ones during times of illness or other medical hardship, all Pennsylvanians should have options. We often assume that these circumstances only affect older populations, but unfortunately, young people can sometimes carry these burdens as well. As an equity-focused advocacy network of young people in Western Pennsylvania, PUMP is fully supportive of the Family Care Act. Not only is proposed legislation that establishes access to paid medical leave a solid plan for our younger workforce, but for all families across the Commonwealth.