Action Alert | Mandatory Paid Family Leave On the House Floor

H.107, imposing mandatory paid family leave, is currently in the House Appropriations Committee, which is expected to approve the bill early next week and it is expected to come to the House floor Wednesday or Thursday.  The bill is expected to follow the recommendations of the House Ways and Means Committee, which modified a number of elements of the bill as passed out by the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee.  For more background on the substance of the bill and key points as passed by the House General committee, see related post here.

Key benefit and tax elements of the Ways and Means version of the bill include:

Benefits:

  • Employee may receive up to 12 weeks of total benefits overall — up to 12 weeks for parental bonding leave; and/or up to 8 weeks for medical leave (own or family member)
  • Wage replacement equal to: 90% of wages up to Vermont Livable Wage, plus 50% of any wages above Vermont Livable Wage, capped at 2.5 times Vermont Livable Wage ($1,334/week)
  • Leave runs concurrently with leave under federal and State unpaid family leave laws

Taxes:

  • Collected by Commissioner of Taxes on a quarterly basis.
  • Initial rate is 0.20% between 1/1/20 and 6/30/20, and rate rises to 0.55% on 7/1/20.
  • Employer determines portion of contribution rate to be paid by employee and employer.
  • Legislature will annually review and, if necessary, adjust the contribution rate.

Other key elements of the Ways and Means version can be found by clicking here.

The program is expected to cost Vermonters more than $70 million in new taxes, with increased costs likely going forward.  AIV is concerned that the program represents an unwarranted tax increase on Vermonters, will likely increase in costs and lead to shifting the costs of the program onto employers, and, because it is mandatory, will prevent employers from taking advantage of federal tax incentives for voluntarily offering paid leave policies.  AIV will continue to work with coalition partners to defeat or moderate the bill, and members are encouraged to contact us at info@aivt.org for more updates and to learn about options for engaging on this issue.

To find contact information for your Representatives, click here.

To contact House Speaker Mitzi Johnson:  (802) 828-2245  |  speaker@leg.state.vt.us