STATEMENT OF KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising, On Senator Marco Rubio’s Proposal to Offer Employers Tax Credits for Providing Paid Leave
September 25, 2015
“Employer Tax Credits Won’t Guarantee Access to Paid Family and Medical Leave”
“On the issue of paid family and medical leave – which has long been a critical one for our organization – Senator Rubio’s proposal to provide tax credits to employers that offer that leave is not the answer. It doesn’t go far enough. We need comprehensive paid family leave insurance legislation that covers all workers and is affordable. This proposal doesn’t meet those criteria.
“You shouldn’t have to win the 'boss lottery' to have access to this critical workplace protection that is in place in every other industrialized nation in the world. Everyone in the U.S. should have access to this policy no matter where or how they work, and at all levels of pay for the good of our families, businesses, and economy. In fact, studies show that businesses get a boost when they implement this policy due to higher employee performance, retention, and cost savings in recruitment and training.
“Rubio’s proposal of tax credits won’t guarantee that all workers will have access to paid family and medical leave insurance when a new baby arrives or when severe illness strikes. Employer tax credits for paid family leave insurance only benefits those companies that are already inclined to advance this policy. While we should applaud those companies that are doing not just the right thing, but the smart thing for their businesses bottom line by implementing paid family leave for their employees, a piecemeal approach is not enough to boost our families, our businesses, and our economy.
“Ultimately, an employer-based tax credit would likely increase, rather than decrease, disparities in access to paid family leave by offering incentives and even offsetting existing costs to employers who are already inclined to do the right thing while doing nothing to ensure access for people who work for employers who are unwilling to make changes. Moreover, leave provided as a result of tax credits probably won’t reach the people who most need and are least likely to have access to paid leave – low-wage and part-time workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color.
“Our nation needs a comprehensive approach to paid family and medical leave insurance, like the FAMILY Act, not a piecemeal approach that benefits only a few while leaving the people who most need access to leave out in the cold.”