ERIC provides testimony to House Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Legislative Subcommittee
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) provided testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Legislative Subcommittee for today’s hearing on Universal Paid Leave and Guaranteed Access To Child Care.
ERIC’s testimony called on Congress to create a national exemption or safe harbor from state and local paid leave laws for employers that already voluntarily offer paid leave benefits.
“Large employers have voluntarily provided generous paid leave for decades. Employees have come to expect it as a benefit offered by their employer and want to keep it as is, as often times the amount provided by an employer exceeds that required by states,” said Aliya Robinson, Senior Vice President of Retirement and Compensation, ERIC. “There is no reason to force employers to change a benefit that employees like. Any federal paid leave laws should provide an exemption or safe harbor from these local and state mandates for employers already offering paid leave benefits.”
For several years, there has been a growing patchwork of state and local paid leave mandates. These mandates threaten voluntary, private paid leave programs due to the compliance burdens and operational costs. Ten separate state paid family and medical leave insurance programs are currently active, with more than 20 additional states considering programs. Despite already offering paid leave, large employers are being forced to comply with these mandates typically targeted at employers that do not offer paid leave. It creates a compliance nightmare for employers, especially those with workers in multiple states, and does not increase benefits for their employees.
For example, multistate employers must maintain differently structured digital recordkeeping systems to ensure they are complying with all the different paid family and medical leave reporting requirements in every state where they have employees. Those recordkeeping systems must be maintained separately from one another, without data-sharing capabilities. These systems do not result in greater benefits for employees but increase costs and compliance burdens for employers.
“ERIC looks forward to working with lawmakers to ensure that employers can use a single standard for paid leave rules. This approach supports the continued ability of employers to provide generous employer-funded paid leave benefits to their nationwide workforce,” said Robinson.
For more information on the many issues that multistate employers face in offering paid leave benefits, read ERIC’s white paper, Paying the Way: Large Employers and the State Paid Leave Patchwork.
Click here to read ERIC’s testimony.