Problem Identification Every day in California, working men and women face conflicts between their work responsibilities and their families. In order to work they must make arrangements for their children and elderly family members who need assistance. They address these conflicts through a variety of child-care, after-school, and eldercare arrangements. But sometimes when a child is seriously ill, an aging parent’s health deteriorates suddenly, or a baby is born or adopted, these daily arrangements are no longer adequate. At such times of family need, an employee simply must take time off from work because no alternative care arrangements will do. That is why in 1993, Congress passed the Family and medical leave Act (FMLA), which was the first national policy designed to help working people balance their work and family responsibilities.
It guarantees that people who work for companies with more than 50 employees can take up to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave a year to care for a newborn or newly-adopted child or for certain seriously ill family members, or to recover from their own serious health conditions. Unfortunately, taking unpaid family leave is a luxury most Californians can not afford, so new mandates must be instituted to help insure that our state’s families can have a healthy and affordable balance between work and family responsibilities. Many groups have different views on how this issue should be resolved and that is why I have chosen to use the group theory to explain this problem. There are three workable resolutions that I have chosen to discuss; expanding the FMLA to cover businesses with 25-49 employees, expanding the use of sick leave, and expanding the State Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Program to provide partial wage replacement to employees who are on parental leave.
The Ethical Issues of Family Medical Leave Act The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was eight long years in the making. After many bitter debates between the Republicans and Democrats, Congress passed the Act on February 4, 1993. President Clinton signed the measure into law the following day. The Act became effective on August 5, 1993. The Act required employers with fifty or more employees within ...
Search For Solutions The first possible solution was formed when it came to public attention that many caregivers couldn’t afford to take unpaid family leave due to the laws restrictions. In a national survey it was discovered that nearly two-thirds of employees who needed but did not take family or medical leave because they could not afford it. In addition, almost one in ten FMLA leave-takers was forced to turn to public assistance to help cover the wages they lost as a result of taking family or medical leave. As if the unpaid restrictions weren’t enough, it turns out that nationwide, 42.
5% of private-sector employees are not covered by the FMLA, because they work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. That is why expanding the law to cover businesses with 25-49 employees would give 13 million more Americans the right to take FMLA leave. The National Partnership for Women & Families has analyzed the most recent available employment data to show what this expansion would mean for California. If California were to somehow expand the FMLA coverage to businesses with 25-49 employees it would make the following differences. Size of Employer (# of employees) Private Sector 50+ 25 – 49 Total (25+) # Employees covered 5, 813, 391 1, 518, 241 7, 331, 632% Employees covered 55. 5% 14.
5% 70. 0%# Employers covered 37, 145 50, 109 87, 254% Employers covered 4. 1% 5. 5% 9.
6%If this proposition were to be made, California would rank 1 st in the nation for the number of people newly covered by the FMLA, giving 1, 518, 241 more people in California the right to take FMLA leave. An additional 14. 5% of California’s private employees would be newly covered by the FMLA, and 70% of all employees in California’s private workforce would be covered by the FMLA. Although these changes are significant, there is a downside to this proposal, because only an additional 5. 5% of California’s private employers would be newly covered by the FMLA. Moreover, only 9.
In Defense of Patenting You and Your Family by Eugene ProkopenkoHow would you feel if I told you that I am the new proud owner of you and your family? That is, that I have been granted a United States patent on the DNA sequence particular to your line of descent because I have identified a unique property of your genetic material. A few cultured cells with your genetic makeup, added to lotion and ...
6% of all California’s private employers would be covered by the FMLA, placing California among the 10 states in the nation with the lowest levels of total employer coverage in the country. Those are just a few reasons why expanding the FMLA would be a great improvement that still doesn’t measure up. The second possible solution to the problem of balancing work and family would be to extend the use of sick leave. This state law would require employers to allow employees to use their accrued paid sick leave for parental and family medical leave purposes. In 1999, Governor Gray Davis signed legislation, effective January 1, 2000, that requires California employers that offer sick leave to let employees use at least the amount of sick leave earned in six months to care for a sick child, parent, or spouse.
The downside to this proposal however is that many workers, especially the ones who need it the most, lack any paid sick leave or paid vacation days. One third of all Americans who are above the poverty line and two-thirds of the working poor lack such benefits. The third and final of possible solutions is to expand the State Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Program to provide partial wage replacement to employees who are on parental or family medical leave. This proposition would use payroll taxes to extend these benefits to all employees who are already covered by the state’s existing TDI program. Under California law, employees who are temporarily disabled for medical reasons, including pregnancy and childbirth, can receive partial wage replacement through the State’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program known in California as State Disability Insurance (SDI).
In order to save the state of California, it is necessary that everyone should pitch in, and this means we all have to sacrifice. Government aid to the state is already out of the question, as what the Obama Administration indicated. This is a big blow to the state, but we still have a few more solutions to this problem. We take into consideration what we really want for California, and with that, ...
Unfortunately, other types of family leave are not covered.
However, California Governor Gray Davis just signed a law requiring a study of the cost of extending state disability benefits to cover family leave. The legislature directed the state Employment Development Department to study the cost of extending the state’s TDI system to cover family leave, and that study was completed in the summer of 2000. The study concluded that expanding TDI in California to include family medical reasons would result in a maximum weekly cost per covered employee of only $0. 88, and the cost of the expanded California program would range from $276 to $330 million… A powerful group of state legislators and advocates for women, children, families, and workers are planning the next steps to further expand family and medical leave benefits in California.
The following chart is an estimate of the costs for expanding California State Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs to cover periods of family leave: Annual Benefits Paid under Current TDI Program $1. 7 billion (actual 1990 expenditure) Number of Employees Covered by TDI 11. 1 million (1989) Eligibility Requirements for New Benefits Employees must be eligible for state disability insurance Length of Absence Covered 12 weeks Purposes of Absence Covered. Care for newborn or newly adopted children. Care for ill parents, children or spouses Estimated Number of Leave-takers Likely to Use New Benefits 619, 250 Average Weekly Benefit $102. 82-193.
57 Estimated Length of Leave 5-10 weeks Estimated Total Annual Cost of Expanding TDI to Include Family Leave $835 million New Cost as a Percentage of Total Program 34 percent Average Cost Per Covered Worker $6. 27 / month$1. 45 / week So by reviewing the data it seems probable that expanding the SDI to include family leave would be a feasible and logical solution that most Californians and politicians would stand behind and implement.