Paid Family Leave
International travel by the President and highly publicized congressional testimonies have placed the Trump Administration's proposed budget on the back-burner. When Congress returns to budget negotiations, they will have to evaluate President Donald Trump's plans for a federal paid family leave program that will provide families with six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
The paid family leave program will likely face stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have strongly opposed any such program. This opposition is similar to what then President Barack Obama faced from both moderate and conservative Republicans when he advocated for paid leave in 2015. Then and now House Speaker Paul Ryan can't find it in himself to support large, unfunded mandates that would impact all employers.
Trump's pushing for a paid family leave program makes good on a promise he made during his campaign, when during a September 2016 campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Trump rolled out a series of childcare policies, including a plan for six weeks of paid maternity leave. “For many families in our country, childcare is now the single largest expense — even more than housing,” Trump said at the time. “Our plan will bring relief to working and middle class families.” Trump promised the leave benefits would be supported by extending unemployment insurance benefits to working mothers whose employers do not offer paid maternity leave. Later, Trump also suggested making child care expenses tax deductible for families earning less than $500,000 and called for establishing tax-free accounts to be used for child care and child enrichment activities.
Ivanka Trump's Influence
Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter and top aide, was the force behind the latest proposal, according to Administration officials. Her proposal calls for a $25 billion federal paid leave program, part of the budget plan that President Trump rolled out earlier this year. While this section of the budget plan falls short on details (such as whether or not it would include gay or lesbian couples), two primary benefits have been highlighted:
6 weeks of Paid Leave
From the campaign's early days, Ivanka Trump has been a strong advocate of paid family leave. Her original proposal was to offer six weeks of paid leave to new mothers. However, the leave proposed in the budget which starts in 2020 is still six weeks, but fathers and new parents by adoption are eligible for it as well as mothers. The paid leave would be funded for 10 years through state unemployment insurance programs, which are still recovering from the 2008 recession and its aftermath.
Families would be entitled to a tax deduction for child care expenses. As it stands now, the deduction would be available to parents with annual income of less than $250,000, and to couples with income of less than $500,000. Lower income families would be entitled to an earned income tax credit for child care, however, there doesn't appear to be anything for parents whose income is so low that they don't pay taxes, and arguably they are the most in need of help with child care expenses.
Questions about California's Paid Leave Laws?
If you are living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, or San Diego and you have questions about California's paid leave laws, contact California attorneys Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced lawyers.