Kamala Harris unveils sweeping parental-leave plan

harris-kamala-2.jpg

(Bloomberg) Kamala Harris rolled out a proposal that would require U.S. employers to provide six months of paid family and medical leave for everyone who works, a mandate that would go well beyond the three months backed by most other 2020 Democratic candidates.

Harris’s plan would apply to private-sector and government workers, and to the self-employed and independent contractors. Those making less than $75,000 would get full wage replacement while on leave, with benefits phasing down for wealthier workers.

The plan would allow people to take the leave intermittently. The program would be funded through a combination of employer and worker payroll contributions and also through a tax increase on companies and wealthy earners. The proposal didn’t include a cost estimate.

Democratic presidential contenders, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, have backed legislation by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that would create a national paid family and medical leave program allowing up to 12 weeks of compensated leave.

President Donald Trump has been supportive of a paid family and medical leave policy advocated by his daughter, Ivanka. But while his annual budget requests to Congress have included a plan for six weeks of paid leave, the proposals haven’t gotten anywhere in Congress.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.