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General Assembly- Feb. 3 2020

From the State Capitol in Richmond, I’m Craig Carper.

A bill to require employers in Virginia to provide paid family leave will be heard by the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow. 

Currently there is no law requiring employers to provide workers with paid leave when a new child is born, when recovering from a serious illness or when providing care to a loved one.

The program would provide income replacement for up to 80 percent of the average weekly state wage for up to 12 weeks. Democratic Senator Jennifer Boysco says workers and employers would fund the program with an average 5 dollar contribution per pay period. 

Democratic Senator Jennifer Boysco. 

“This is an employee retention jobs bill. Minimizing that stress endured during those times will increase employee productivity across the board. These programs make it more likely that employees are gonna return to work, decreasing turnover, which saves businesses money.” 

Some business groups like the National Federation for Independent Business say the program would be unaffordable.   

Nicole Riley, Executive Director of the NFIB. 

“While many small businesses very much want to support their employees if there is a family emergency, they need flexibility. NFIB’s small business members tell us that a cookie cutter approach to paid leave would be unworkable.”

Lawmakers are still trying to assess how much the bill would cost the commonwealth as an employer. 

For Assembly 20, I’m Craig Carper. 


VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.