Paid Family Leave included in Obama’s budget

Released today, President Obama’s budget includes funding to help states provide paid family leave to to workers. Current federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Acts (FMLA), only provides unpaid leave — forcing workers to choose between caring for their families or losing a paycheck.

Both California and New Jersey already have paid family leave programs — giving workers up to six weeks to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child.

This funding could help get Washington’s paid family leave program up and running, which is currently awaiting a funding source for it’s planned October 2012 launch date.

Text from the White House OMB’s budget fact sheet after the jump.

From the White House OMB:

Help States Provide Paid Family Leave to Workers. Too many families must make the painful choice between the care of their families and a paycheck they desperately need. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take job-protected time off unpaid, but millions of families can’t afford to lose that paycheck. A handful of States have enacted policies to offer paid family leave, but more States should have the chance. The Budget establishes a $50 million State Paid Leave Fund within the Department of Labor that will provide competitive grants to help States that choose to launch paid-leave programs to cover their start-up costs. The Budget also provides resources to allow the Department of Labor to explore ways to improve the collection of data related to intersection of work and family responsibilities.

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