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MA: Paid 12-Week Leave Bill Gaining Support

Date: 05/15/2006 | Category: Business | Author: developers

Massachusetts is considering a bill, which would pay workers their full salary (up to $750 a week) for up to 12 weeks to care for newborns or ill family members.

According to a study soon to be released by Prof. Randy Albelda with the Univ. of MA Boston, about 440,000 workers in Massachusetts currently take leave each year at a cost of $370 million a year to employers. She claims that even if the bill passed, and the number of workers taking advantage of the law rose to 470,000 per year, it would still save employers about $100 million when factoring in less turnover and fewer paid sick days.

Supporters claim the plan would cover an additional 3 million workers, be funded by a small employee contribution (perhaps $1.50-$2.50 per week), and provide job protection for those who take leave. Critics say the proposal, which would require every worker to pay a premium, could increase the number of leaves, discourage job growth, and hurt overstretched businesses.

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