Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) sent testimony to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections ahead of today’s hearing, entitled “Balancing Work, Health, and Family: The Case for Expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act.”
ERIC’s testimony focused on the unique role large employers already play in offering paid leave benefits to their workforces and the need for federal paid leave legislation to address the current patchwork of state legislation.
“ERIC strongly encourages the Subcommittee to consider options that provide relief from the current patchwork of state paid family and medical leave standards for our member companies – who currently provide generous paid family and medical leave benefits to their employees,” said Aliya Robinson, Senior Vice President, Retirement and Compensation Policy, ERIC. “The Subcommittee must use this opportunity to also address the rising cost of compliance associated with keeping up with dozens of differing state laws and regulations.”
In previous discussions about national paid family and medical leave, debates have failed to recognize and address the severe impact that the current patchwork of state programs has had on multistate employers, as well as their millions of employees nationwide. With the creation of each new state program, employers have been overloaded with the direct costs of funding these social insurance programs. The legal, consulting, and administrative costs of ensuring compliance with each and every unique state program requirement, ultimately affects employers’ ability to continue to design and provide innovative paid leave benefits for their workforces.
ERIC’s testimony listed some of the issues that highlight the real and present need for federal legislation, including:
- Administrative burdens
- Treatment of contractors and temporary employees
- Interaction with other paid leave benefits
- Employee benefit parity
- Limitation of wage replacement
- Employer vulnerability to specious litigation
“ERIC and our member companies are committed to working with Congress toward a solution that allows employers who already provide generous paid leave benefits to continue to do so without being subject to state or federal mandates and the burdensome costs that come with them,” said Robinson.