On November 3, 2017, Congress introduced federal paid leave legislation, titled the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219). The bill proposes a combination of paid leave benefits and flexible work arrangements intended to help employees strike a better work-life balance. Under the bill, an employer would create a voluntary program to provide paid leave to all employees, scaled to the size of the employer and the employee's tenure. Moreover, paid leave could be used for any reason an employee sees fit, with no restrictions, such as caring for an aging family member, volunteering in the community, or chaperoning a school field trip.
Number of Employees
1,000 or more
250 to 999
50 to 249
Fewer than 50
Amount of Paid Leave for Employees With Five Or More Years of Service
Amount of Paid Leave for Employees With Fewer Than Five Years of Service
In addition to paid leave, the bill allows employers to offer all employees the option to participate in at least one of six flexible scheduling options, such as job sharing, telework, or predictable scheduling. Employees would not be required to adopt a flexible work schedule to receive paid leave. Conversely, all employees would receive paid leave even if they don’t adopt a flexible work schedule.
Key Takeaway for MRA Members
Under the bill’s voluntary approach, employers would be able to provide paid leave and flexible work arrangements to attract and retain employees. In return, employers would no longer need to comply with state and local paid sick leave laws. The bill has support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and both moderate Republicans and Democrats; however, the White House has not signaled how it views the legislation. MRA will monitor closely and keep you up to date on changes that would affect employers.
Source: Michael Hyatt, HR Government Affairs Director, MRA – The Management Association