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Family Care Act

HB 290, Family Care Act

Family Care Act: Key Talking Points

It’s a simple concept:  Ensuring that workers can use sick days they have earned to care for ill family members helps keep families, communities and our economy healthy. 

Losing a day’s pay, or even a job, because you need to keep a sick child home from school or take your father for a colonoscopy means that working families can’t spend on the basics – like food, utilities and repairs – purchases that keep local businesses and the economy moving forward.

The Family Care Act (HB 290), sponsored by Rep Katie Dempsey (R-Rome):

  • Allows employees to use the sick time earned through their current employer policy to care for ill family members.
  • Does not require new policy by employers, only the flexibility to use sick time for family care.
  • Has bipartisan support.  Was passed by the Human Relations and Aging Committee in 2013.
  • Has been passed in eight states, including Maryland, Connecticut and Hawaii.

Keep our economy growing

Losing even a day’s pay for taking care of a loved one undermines workers’ ability to spend at the local grocery or repair shop and keep the local economy growing.  Businesses in our communities depend on families having enough money to spend on the basics.

Keep our classrooms healthy

Parents with family care days are less likely to send sick child to school, which reduces the spread of illness in the classroom.  When children and seniors are cared for by family members, they get better sooner and their long-term health improves.

Protect public spending and public health

Parents without family care days are five times more likely to report taking their child to the emergency room because they were unable to take time off work during normal work hours.  The Family Care Act will reduce health risks and control taxpayer-funded health costs.  Providing family care days is a responsible way to limit the spread of illness and protect our vulnerable children and elderly.

Comparison of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to the Family Care Act (FCA)

                                                             FMLA                                           FCA
Size of employer covered            50 or more employees                    10 or more employees
Medical situations covered          illness of more than 3 days             any illness or medical appointment
employees covered                    minimum 1 year on the job              those covered by employer policy
paid/unpaid                               unpaid leave                                   paid as provided by employer policy


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