FMLA 25th Anniversary Celebrated on Capitol Hill as Advocates Encourage Further Progress

Washington Premier Group represents Federally Employed Women (FEW), a proud coalition member of the National Partnership for Women and Families and supporter of the FMLA. The 25th anniversary of the FMLA was Monday, marked by a celebration on Capitol Hill and a tweet storm that left #FMLA trending for 7 hours! A roundtable discussion on Tuesday, February 26, 2018 allowed members of the House of Representatives to talk with leaders of the FMLA and paid family leave initiatives about how to progress this idea increasingly supported by both sides of the aisle. An important point brought up at Tuesday’s roundtable was the need to devise an economic presentation to provide businesses that easily displays the cost of implementing paid family leave. Many businesses step back from offering it because they fear losing money and employees. It was made clear, however, that the cost of hiring and training new employees outweighs the cost of offering an existing employee paid family leave. It was said yesterday that to hire and train a new employee costs 150% of a current employee’s salary, making it more cost effective to provide the existing employee with paid leave. Offering this benefit to employees also improves retention rate; for example, when Google increased their paid time off from 12 to 16 weeks, employee retention rate increased by 50%.

Another point brought up was that when conservative voters were presented with four options for family leave, an overwhelming majority favored the Family Act. They felt it was the most “Republican idea” because it exercised shared costs. With support coming from both Democrats and Republicans, speakers at the roundtable discussion believe that paid family leave is finally a question of when and how. 

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