Paid Family Leave Expansion
The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce alongside other pro-business allies have come out against the expansion of Paid Family Leave. The Chamber signed a letter of opposition to Senate bill 8380-A and Assembly bill 10639-A. If signed into law, PFL will extend to include the death of a family member (child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, spouse or domestic partner). The vagueness of these bills could pose a serious problem to the business community. The bills seem to indicate that individuals can take 12 weeks off “any year, or even in every year” after the death of a family member. Typically, businesses give 4 days off, this legislation will eventually extend paid leave up to 12 weeks. This issue is a very sensitive topic, but it doesn’t change the fact that Paid Family Leave hurts businesses, especially small businesses.
The Business Council made a few recommendations to help solidify the language of the bill to make it more reasonable and result in less abuse. One recommendation they made was to limit bereavement leave to four weeks instead of the eventual 12 weeks. Also, it was recommended that the leave be taken within 180 days of the passing of the relative. Unfortunately, the co-sponsors of the bills rejected the proposed changes. They also did not accept the necessity of a death certificate to be presented to the employer to show the need for the use of bereavement leave.
Paid Family Leave has only been implemented for several months. Before any drastic changes to this legislation occurs, it is important to understand the effects of the current program. The state should conduct a thorough evaluation of the current model to determine if expansion to this system is possible.
The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate on behalf of common sense business solutions to these problems.