‘Guaranteeing six months of paid leave will bring us closer to economic justice for workers …’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Monday said she would create an Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave to require that businesses guarantee workers six months of pay while they do not work.
“Guaranteeing six months of paid leave will bring us closer to economic justice for workers and ensures newborn children or children who are sick can get the care they need from a parent without thrusting the family into upheaval,” Harris said, according to CNN.
“To give all children in America the opportunities they deserve, this comprehensive children’s agenda will protect their rights, ensure they have access to health care and high-quality education, and dramatically reduce child poverty.”
The paid family leave policy comes as part of Harris’s “Children’s Agenda,” an effort to appeal to average Democrats in Iowa.
After a bump during the first Democratic debate, when she attacked the racist legacy of front-runner Joe Biden‘s long career in Congress, Harris has seen her poll numbers plummet due largely to her tentative stance on crucial leftist policies like Medicare for All.
However, the former San Francisco prosecutor hoped promising free time off might help her crack the enigma of how to gain traction in early-voting flyover states.
American workers would receive paid leave for “personal serious health conditions, caring for new children or family members with serious health conditions, or addressing medical or non-medical needs,” including needs caused by domestic violence and sexual assault.
Harris said her paid family leave plan would “put children at the center of her decision-making and treat their needs with the same urgency and importance as we treat any other national priority.”
Her proposal would put immense strain on businesses since full-time, part-time and self-employed workers—as well as independent contractors—would qualify for paid leave.
Moreover, the plan would guarantee full wage compensation for people earning less than $75,000 per year, though benefits would diminish after that point.
Harris admitted that businesses and employees would have to pay for the plan through a “combination of employer and employee payroll contributions and government expenditures paid for by tax increases on the top 1 percent and big corporations.”