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Funds take a peek at Pennsylvania paid leave programs

Posted on September 6, 2016

A round of new funds is taking a look at Pennsylvania paid leave programs that will affect Pennsylvania jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau awarded $1.1 million in grants to research and analyze how paid-leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The grants build on the Paid Leave Analysis Grant Program that, since 2014, has committed more than $3 million to 17 states and municipalities to support research and analysis on the implementation of paid family and medical-leave programs.

The grants funded by the award announcement are as follows:

  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry will receive $250,000 to conduct cost-benefit analysis for different paid family-leave models; statistical analysis to determine populations that would benefit from them; feasibility study of state administrative infrastructure for a paid family-leave program; and education, outreach and marketing analysis for implementation purposes.
  • The Hawaii Department of Human Services will receive $240,000 to conduct economic analysis and eligibility and benefit modeling; feasibility study to determine ways Hawaii could potentially implement a paid family-leave program; polling to gauge public opinion about paid family-leave, benefit design, and messaging; focus groups to gather perspectives that will inform messaging design in educational materials and gather insight for policy development.
  • The Indiana Commission for Women will receive $202,500 to conduct cost-benefit modeling for several locally developed paid family and medical-leave program proposals; polling research to assess public interest in elements of proposed plans; and stakeholder interviews with low-income families, as well as develop educational materials for statewide outreach efforts.
  • The City of Madison, Wisconsin will receive $155,317 to research fiscal and operational impacts of providing a paid-leave policy for all permanent city government employees.
  • The City and County of Denver will receive $126,091 to conduct statistical analysis and financing, eligibility, and benefit modeling to explore and develop a paid family and medical-leave program or other benefit options in adherence with prevailing practices.
  • The Franklin County, Ohio, Board of Commissioners will receive $126,091 to evaluate impact of process changes on individuals; cost/economic impact on individuals and employers/supervisors that implement paid-leave program; and implementation analysis.

The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees unpaid, job-protected leave for workers to care for their newborn or newly adopted children, their family members with serious health conditions, and their own serious health conditions. However, many workers are unable to take unpaid time off because they cannot afford to do so. In recent years, a few states have implemented paid-leave programs to ensure that workers have the economic security to meet their families’ needs.

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