With the Family Medical Leave Act only providing unpaid time off of work, young families are postponing having children and older workers are having a hard time caring for loved ones and themselves. Various advocates have called on the Connecticut legislature's Labor and Public Employees Committee to pass a bill that will create a task force to investigate a partial wage replacement program for employees on leave to give birth to a child, take care of a loved one, or care for themselves.
"Sometimes you just can't accumulate enough sick time in order to take an adequate leave," said Jillian Gilchrest, assistant policy director at the Connecticut Association for Human Services.
Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, said a big challenge for Connecticut is the absence of temporary statewide disability insurance. There are no options for workers to even partially fund their leave through any type of insurance policy.
The task force they are thinking about creating would figure out how Connecticut could set up a program from scratch. It would figure out funding, who would be covered and how it could be administered.
The Connecticut Association for Human Services cited a number of statistics:
- More than 40 percent of bankruptcies are a result of lost wages because of a serious illness.
- The average worker over the age of 50 who leaves the workforce to take care of a loved one will lose $300,000 in wages and retirement income.
- 13 percent of families with a new infant become poor within a month.
The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., represents workers who have been denied their legally guaranteed rights in the workplace. If you have been denied medical leave, unemployment compensation, or a promotion you deserve by the unfair actions of management, call us at 888-717-4211 for a free consultation.