Senator Gillibrand Visits Owego to Talk Family and Medical Leave Act

Published 02/24 2014 04:59PM

Updated 02/24 2014 05:19PM

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Owego today to talk about her proposed update for the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The so-called FAMILY Act would create an independent trust fund within the Social Security Administration. It would basically be an insurance program for workers who need to take time off because of a serious medical problem or to take care of a loved one.

The proposal calls for qualified people to be able to receive up to about two-thirds of their lost wages during the three month FMLA period. The overall amount for a recipient would be capped at $5,000.

"You'll hear from parents a daughter gets in a car accident and is in a wheel chair for three months, an infant is burned badly and they have to be hospitalized in another city, in another state; in Boston. Being able to take that time off at that urgent moment that you can't plan for is really what this is about," explained Gillibrand.

The trust would be funded by employee and employer contributions of .2 percent of wages received and paid, which Gillibrand says is about $2 per week. She also says that creating the self-sufficient program would not add to the federal deficit. The FMLA leave time of three months would not change.

Gillibrand's insurance proposal would cover full and part time workers even though only full-time workers with a certain number of hours are protected by FMLA.

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