The Massachusetts House and Senate passed a statewide program that will provide a Paid Family and Medical Leave program to most all workers in the Commonwealth, as part of a consolidated bill that will also incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $6.75. The bill will also create a permanent sales tax holiday each August and eliminate the requirement that employers pay their workers time a half on Sundays and holidays.
Rep. Gordon authored much of the Paid Family Leave bill that was incorporated in the package. He spoke about the family leave policy at the State House as 126 House members voted in favor of the bill, to 25 against. In the Senate, the bill passed 30-8.
“We in government like to talk about family values. Here today, in Massachusetts, we are passing a bill that reflects our family values,” said Gordon. “The Paid Family Leave program is designed to keep families together at times of great joy and to allow families to be together at times of great stress and great sorrow. Compare that to what we see coming out of Washington, where for the past few weeks all we’ve heard is excuses for ripping families apart. Once again Massachusetts sets the example”.
The family leave portion of the bill will provide partial wage replacement for up to 12 weeks for workers to care for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a hospitalized child, parent, spouse or other specified relative or one who is under constant medical care. It will provide for up to 20 weeks of wage replacement for a worker’s own non-workplace related injury. Lower paid workers will receive a greater wage replacement than higher paid workers.