Paid medical, family leave would be offered under new Democratic bill

Wisconsin employees would be eligible for paid time off under a new proposal at the Wisconsin State Capitol

State Sen. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, and Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains, introduced the Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Insurance Act at a news conference Tuesday morning.

The Democratic bill would provide participating employees in Wisconsin up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, to treat a personal illness or to care for an aging or sick family member.

“I’ve had to take time off without pay to care for my son after he broke his leg. Luckily, my husband had a good union job that could support our family. Far too many families live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to take time off,” Ringhand said.

Sen. Janis Ringhand and @RepSondy introduce a bill that woods create a Family Medical Leave Insurance program completely paid for by employees. An employee would be eligible to receive a percentage of the pay during the time they take family or medical leave from work. #news3now pic.twitter.com/tJJ8Ji3a8D

— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) October 22, 2019

The bill’s authors said the program would not cost the employers any money and instead, be paid for completely by the employees themselves. Employees would contribute a certain percentage of their paycheck into a trust fund.

The legislation also would expand Wisconsin’s current Family Medical leave law by allowing employees to take family leave to care for anyone covered under the current law plus grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and any eligible employee who has an eligible family member deployed overseas.

Ringhand said this is the third time the proposal has been introduced, and it has failed to get bipartisan support.

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