SEATTLE – The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce today encouraged state lawmakers to work together on proposals for a statewide policy for paid family leave.
“We’re excited that this conversation is moving forward at the state level,” said Chamber president and CEO Maud Daudon. She added, “As employers, our members understand the need for people to balance their jobs and care for their families, particularly at important times in their lives. Through the best practices in which many local businesses already engage and the benefits that they provide, we know that paid family leave delivers valuable outcomes for both employees and employers.”
In its testimony before the state Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee this afternoon, the Chamber shared the principles that its Board of Trustees has unanimously approved as a guideline for its advocacy on this issue.
Any statewide paid family leave policy should:
- Encompass all jurisdictions statewide to ensure equal, consistent, and clear standards and benefits across the state;
- Efficiently complement existing labor laws and definitions in Washington state and under FMLA, while also reflecting successful paid family leave models in other states;
- Be financially self-sustaining (including both the benefit and its administration), as has been demonstrated in other successful statewide programs;
- Reasonably accommodate small businesses;
- Preserve the ability of employers to provide additional benefits beyond the legislated benefit.
- A variety of proposals are likely forthcoming at the state level. We look forward to working closely with state and local leaders and other stakeholders
While the proposals introduced so far have not met all of these principles, they provide a starting point for a solution that allows our businesses and our community to thrive.
Daudon said, “The Chamber looks forward to collaboratively working with legislators in both parties and other stakeholders throughout this session to provide a solution that addresses a critical employee need with an approach that works for employers.”
About The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce engages the innovation and entrepreneurship of its 2,200 members to advance economic prosperity, advocate for a vital business environment, and build sustainable and healthy communities in the Seattle region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization representing a regional workforce of approximately 700,000 people. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.