01 February 2007


Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, one of the pack in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, today introduced legislation to strengthen the Family Leave Act, which he authored.

Dodd's bill would allow employees to be paid for up to six weeks if they need to take off from work to care for themselves or member of the immediate family.

Here's a description of the bill from a press release issued by Dodd's Senate office.

"Sen. Dodd’s bill will push for at least six weeks of paid leave for the worker to care for themselves, their children, and immediate family members. The program would be funded by a shared-cost mechanism, involving the employer, the employee and the Federal Government."

The bill comes on the day when Harvard University and McGill University, in Montreal, jointly released a report which puts the U.S. at the very bottom of "high-income" countries when it comes to workplace provisions to make family life a little more manageable.

The report says the U.S. is behind many "middle- and low-income" countries.

As an example, the report says the U.S. is one of only five countries that does not mandate some form of paid maternity leave. The others are Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea.

So much for the "family-values" credentials of those who've been in charge of Congress for the past 12 years.

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