November 18, 2022

After 28 Years, Pandemic Makes Federal Paid Family Leave a Possibility

As a recent story in the Washington Post reminded us, the last time family leave provisions were expanded in the US was mere weeks after Bill Clinton was inaugurated in 1993. The Family and Medical Leave Act provided unpaid leave for certain employees for family and medical reasons. And then, nothing. For 28 years. 

As we’ve pointed out often during the pandemic, the US remains the only OECD country without federal paid family and medical leave legislation, leaving employees to the caprice of employers and state laws for any job protection and ability to take time off to care for oneself or one’s family. The FFCRA provided temporary relief, but it has since expired, leaving parents and those caring for families out in the cold again. According to PL+US, strong federal paid leave laws would strengthen the economy while protecting employees from job loss during unexpected events, such as a global pandemic.

So, in early February Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York reintroduced Gillibrand’s legislation, long overdue, to strengthen the false dawn of the Clinton-era FMLA. In addition to Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act, DeLauro, no stranger to putting issues of social reproduction at the forefront, is also pushing for an expansion to the child tax credit.

Under the FAMILY Act’s language, paid leave would provide 66% of a worker’s monthly salary, ranging from a minimum $250 to a maximum of $4,000, to be covered by a small, 0.2% wage tax. Such job protections would go a long way to ensuring workforce stability and reducing unemployment during periods of uncertainty. It would also contribute to protecting expectant and new mothers, who are often unfairly pushed out of the workforce because they need to care for their children.

We will be eagerly following along to see how Congress addresses this critical issue.

Berke-Weiss Law Attorneys Speak at Endometriosis Foundation Conference

March 27, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Berke-Weiss Law in the News
Berke-Weiss Law attorneys, Laurie Berke-Weiss, Alex Berke, and Rosa Aliberti, spoke at the EndoFound Global Patient Symposium, commonly referred to as Patient Day, about the legal rights and protections for those with endometriosis.

AI and Compliance, Employers Brace for a Brave New World

March 16, 2023
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Over the last decade, more and more companies have utilized automated tools to aid in hiring, training, retaining. Historically, when practices and technologies are adopted rapidly, the law takes time to catch up and this is no different, with 2023 looking to be a year where companies are going to come under more detailed regulatory and compliance regimes focused on AI.

Elon Musk’s Public Mocking of Employee’s Disability Highlights the Importance of Reasonable Accommodations and Health Information Privacy

March 16, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Elon Musk mocked a Twitter employee for his disability and lack of clarity regarding job status, highlighting issues disabled workers face in the workplace.

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