For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) provided testimony to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections ahead of their hearing, entitled “The Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1784): Examining a Plan to Secure Paid Sick Leave for U.S. Workers.”
ERIC’s testimony focused on the benefit of federal paid leave legislation, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but urged lawmakers to ensure that any new legislation would not have negative or counterproductive consequences for employers already providing and funding generous paid sick leave to workers across the country. In particular, ERIC recommended that any federal paid leave legislation preempt state and local paid leave laws.
“ERIC understands that today’s environment requires a swift policy response, but lawmakers must be thoughtful in their approach. New legislation should not add to the current patchwork of state paid sick leave laws, which are negatively impacting employers’ ability to design and provide generous paid leave benefits to all workers regardless of where they live or work,” said Aliya Robinson, Senior Vice President of Retirement and Compensation Policy, ERIC.
ERIC strongly recommended that lawmakers amend H.R. 1784 to expand access to the best paid sick leave benefits for as many Americans as possible. Those amendments include:
- Preemption state and local laws addressing paid sick leave
- A requirement that employees work for an employer for at least 90 days before becoming eligible to use accrued paid sick leave
- Clarification that employers can “front-load” paid sick leave benefits and make them available to employees, in full, at the beginning of the year to meet the exemption provision
“ERIC and our member companies are committed to working with Congress on a solution that allows employers to continue providing generous paid sick leave benefits without placing unnecessary administrative burdens on employers or adding to the complex patchwork of conflicting state and local paid sick leave mandates,” said Robinson.