Working Families in Milford to promote paid medical leave

Connecticut Working Families, Everybody Benefits Coalition was in Milford Friday morning to promote efforts to establish a state paid family and medical leave program.

Representatives and local officials gathered at Arciuolo’s Shoe Store in downtown Milford to talk about the program.

“Arciuolo’s Shoe Store is a small family run business that gives its workers paid family and medical leave time and supports the bill currently in the General Assembly to establish a statewide paid family leave program,” according to Taylor Leake, communications director at Connecticut Working Families Party.

Matt Arciuolo spoke to those in attendance about why his company supports the effort, and how paid family leave has benefited his business.

The bill, HB 6932, would establish a paid family and medical leave compensation program administered by the labor department and funded by a percentage contribution of the employee’s weekly earnings. The program would offer up to 12 work weeks of family and medical leave compensation to workers every year.

“The leave could be used to treat and recover from serious illnesses, to care for a seriously sick family member, or to care for a new child,” Leake said in a press release to area media.

“In 1998, the Connecticut legislature recognized this need and became the first state to pass a Family and Medical Leave bill, which ensures workers can’t be fired for taking a leave for specific health and family care reasons,” Leake added. “Unfortunately, FMLA is not working for most people in Connecticut. It fails to cover many workers, and even those who are covered often cannot afford to take the unpaid time off.

“Getting a serious medical diagnosis, or having to care for an ailing parent should not be a financial disaster. Establishing an insurance style Paid Family and Medical leave program would grant workers some much needed economic security during an already stressful time,” Leake said.

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