Privately Funded Family Medical Leave?
Cornell HR Review (Aug. 2014)
9 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014 Last revised: 15 Jan 2015
Date Written: August 8, 2014
Upon the twentieth anniversary of the passage of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, activists have been pressed to correct its failure to grant American workers federally funded paid leave similar to those found in other nations that offer expansive social programming. Recent developments indicate, though, that supporters of paid leave might be more successful at the state level, not the federal one. Nonetheless, federally funded paid leave is presented as a pressing civil rights issue. In this article, I suggest an alternative, a property theory of paid leave, founded upon a newer formulation of pension benefits: private family leave pensions that might operate similar to deferred compensation plans, tax deferred or tax free, and available through employers and brokerage houses. This is about supporting self-investment: such plans have the potential to offer greater benefits than even the most generous of the prevailing state government-sponsored paid leave benefits programs. As such, more thought should be put into considering alternatives to federally funded paid leave.
Note: This is a shorter version of an article that will appear in the Northern Illinois University Law Review.
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