“Working families deserve every chance to have a job and work with dignity without having to choose between their career and their family. They should be able to complete their education so they can have better paying jobs,” Rep. Debra Heffernan said. To that end, Heffernan is sponsoring House Bill 3, which would offer full-time state employees and teachers 12 weeks of paid maternity or paternity leave after they complete one year of employment. The new parents would be eligible for leave for up to one year after the birth of the child or adoption of a child under the age of six. “No parent should have to make a financial decision to leave their child just a couple weeks after they have been brought into the family,” said Rep. Heffernan, D-Brandywine Hundred South. “It’s hypocritical for us as a state to stress the importance of the family unit and then not back it up with this kind of basic and essential support system.”
I am all for paid family leave. In fact, I believe this law should apply to all businesses of every size that employ human beings. But this law only applies to state employees. Which brings me to a quibble with the kind of rhetoric that lawmakers like Representative Heffernan use when talking about their bills. Ms. Heffernan refers to “Working families” and “Parents” when talking about what they deserve in the form of paid leave. She does not refer to State Employees who are parents. She is thus overpromising in regards to her bill, and therefore it is guaranteed that she and the General Assembly will under-deliver. The person reading her words about no parent having to chose between work and family and working families needing a break can be forgiven if they think she is talking about them even though they are not a state employee.
We need to stop doing that. Or propose bills that actually meet your rhetoric.
SPONSORS: Heffernan, McDowell, Henry, Lopez, Townsend, Baumbach, Bennett, Bentz, Bolden, Keeley, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Potter, B.Short, Spiegelman, Williams
HISTORY: Assigned to the House Administration on 4/5/17.
STATUS: Waiting for hearing in committee.