Federal Paid Leave Legislation Must Allow Employers to Continue Providing Needed Benefits

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.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.