Sen. Deb Fischer wants to provide businesses an incentive to provide their employees with paid parental or medical leave.
Fischer, a Republican, sponsors legislation with Independent Senator Angus King of Maine that would give businesses a tax credit to give paid leave for workers.
Fischer calls it a common sense approach.
“It recognizes the impact that this has on the employers, but it also recognizes the need that is there to help these lower wage families and meet some of the struggles that they’re facing,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
Fischer says the focus is hourly workers, especially low-wage workers.
Fischer prefers a tax break to a mandate.
“I think by offering an incentive to employers to provide that flexibility is just what we need,” Fischer says.
Fischer and King call their legislation The Strong Families Act. It would provide a 25% nonrefundable tax credit for each hour of paid parental or medical leave offered to an employee. Paid leave would be granted on an hourly basis, separate from vacation or sick leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires employers of 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which can be used for events such as the birth or adoption of children, serious medical issues, and providing care to close family members.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]