PA Businesses Support Paid Family Leave – Mar 29, 2024



Ahh…the joy of bringing a new baby home – lots of cuddles, feedings, diaper changes, and unforgettable firsts. But for parents without paid family leave, they sacrifice these precious moments to go back to work, or they leave their job only to be constantly distracted by financial worry. 

Legislation in Pennsylvania could solve that. A bipartisan group of 54 lawmakers in the House are promoting The Family Care Act (HB 181), which would offer up to 20 weeks of leave to care for a new baby or elderly family member, or a medical emergency. Similar bipartisan legislation, SB 580, was introduced this week in the Senate.

A statewide Paid Family Leave (PFL) program benefits both employers and employees and has wide bipartisan support among PA voters, as evidenced by Children First research and polling. But nearly ¾ of Pennsylvania’s employers, mostly small businesses, don’t offer some level of paid family and medical leave benefits, often citing cost as the barrier. The Family Care Act would provide a cost-effective solution for them. 

And small businesses agree. More than 100 small business owners voiced their support for a statewide paid family leave program this week, signing a letter of support to Governor Shapiro and legislative leaders

“At a time when businesses across the country are struggling to recruit and retain employees, Pennsylvania’s labor force participation rate is lagging behind the average rate across states with existing paid leave programs, as well as women labor force participation,” the letter reads. “Access to paid leave would be a critical tool in helping to solve current and future workforce challenges.”

A statewide PFL program is also cost effective; research by Vanderbilt University concluded that HB181 “more than pays for itself with a [maximum] 1% payroll premium shared equally between employers and employees.” Employers and employees would share this minimal cost that provides an enormous net benefit of $379 million to families, employers, and the Commonwealth.

“Paid family leave is not only a profamily policy but is also a probusiness policy. It’s important that my employees come to work healthy and focused on the job at hand. Having a statewide paid leave program would make it easier for small business owners like me to ensure that our employees, and their families, are taken care of,” said Megan Watson, partner of BKW Family Law.

Three and a half million Pennsylvania workers go to work every day without any assurance that they’ll be okay if they have a new child, or an ailing parent, or a medical emergency. The Family Care Act can change that. Do your part by emailing your state legislators to support HB 181 and SB 580.

Let’s cross the finish line for school funding! 

We’re teaming up with our PA Schools Work coalition to launch virtual phone banks this spring. Add your name to the list of phone bank volunteers and we’ll be in touch. Together we’ll build a groundswell of support for our children’s education.

Three school districts in York County have signed agreements with the same group that propelled the Central Bucks school district book ban.

New Central Bucks school board members, who won their seats because of the book ban bruhaha, have since cut district ties to the group.

It’s time to celebrate the people who are making Pennsylvania a better place for children and teens.

You’re invited to the Celebration of the 2024 Champions for Children event for food, networking, entertainment, and a chance to recognize Vanguard and other champions!

Get your tickets or become a valued sponsor!

“A program like this should be added into every middle school to help kids decide
what they want to become.”

– Eighth grader Nicoly Alves on the
vocational skills program at Mayfair
in Philadelphia.