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Republicans Offer Employer Incentive for Paid Leave Programs  

Today, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) introduced H.R. 4248, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, a bill that encourages and allows employers to implement paid leave programs and flexible work arrangements voluntarily without the need for a burdensome and inflexible one-size-fits-all federal mandate.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), lead sponsor of the bill, wrote:

“In this day and age, hard-working Americans across the country should have access to work scheduling options to better help them meet their family and work needs. Employers and employees need flexibility, not mandates and regulations. My Workflex in the 21st Century Act would ensure that American workers have access to flexible paid leave policies, while providing certainty to businesses. This bill would provide more paid leave for employees than all state paid leave laws, and I am proud to introduce it today.”
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee, wrote:

“America’s workers rely on flexible work opportunities to maintain a healthy balance of work and family life. We are offering the American people a path toward increased workplace freedom without spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars or forcing unfunded, unworkable mandates on small businesses. Democrats’ idea of workplace flexibility is either a taxpayer handout to fund a sweeping new entitlement program, or a rigid mandate that cannot bend to meet workers’ or business owners’ unique needs and circumstances. Our plan does what the federal government is supposed to do – remove barriers to workplace success so job creators and employees can thrive.”  
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) wrote:

“The 21st century workforce values flexibility. Whether it’s the single mom trying to make her son’s baseball game, or the dad trying to leave work on time to drive across town to his daughter's dance recital, workplace flexibility measures help families juggle their busy lives. The future of work is changing, and this legislation recognizes that our workplace rules are outdated and limit the flexible options people seek today.”
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) wrote:

“Hardworking moms and dads know how challenging it can be to juggle all the commitments that come at home and on the job. As the workplace continues to evolve, employees are increasingly looking for flexible work arrangements that strike the right work-life balance. To better meet the needs of the 21st century workforce, our legislation encourages innovative reforms to promote family-friendly policies without resorting to more costly and burdensome mandates.”
Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) wrote:

“The modern workplace is constantly changing, and employers must adapt to stay competitive. The Workflex in the 21st Century Act provides an innovative solution for employers to develop paid leave and workplace flexibility plans that will best fit their workforce. Family-friendly policies are crucial to attracting and retaining high-quality employees. Through this legislation we can help companies implement flexible working arrangements, without wasting taxpayer funds or burdening small businesses with additional federal mandates. This is a win-win for all.”
This bill provides effective options for employers to meet workers’ needs without burdening small businesses or forcing federal mandates that are irresponsive to the needs of workers and business owners. The Workflex in the 21st Century Act creates a new type of benefit under the Employee Income Security Act that provides a voluntary safe harbor from the growing patchwork of state and local laws by providing a plan that offers a minimum number of hours of paid leave, congruent with a company’s size and employee’s length of service, and a flexible work arrangement, including compressed work schedules, biweekly work programs, telework, job-sharing, flexible scheduling, or predictable scheduling.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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