President Barack Obama may be at an all time low rating-wise, but that isn’t stopping him from promoting his agenda while in office. In this case, his proposal that all American employees be entitled to reasonable paid sick leave, which is the case in many European countries
As reported by Forbes today, Obama intends to call on Congress to require companies to give workers up to seven days of paid sick leave a year, as well as another executive action to give at least six weeks of paid leave to federal employees after the birth or adoption of a child.
According to Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Barack Obama wants Congress to spend something in the order of $2.2 billion to help develop paid family leave programs, “As our workforce and our families have continued to evolve over time. too many of our workplaces have failed to keep pace,” Jarrett told reporters.
The paid leave for employees of the executive branch will come through a presidential memorandum, a tool similar to an executive order used to direct federal agencies to implement a White House policy.
Jarrett added that the program will work by advancing unearned sick time to federal employees at a cost of $250 million a year.
The proposal comes from a bill by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, which applies to companies that employ at least 15 workers.
The proposal, which was first introduced in 2005 by Delauro, was met with praise by her, “Workplaces need to respond to the reality of family life in the 21st century, and allowing employees to have seven sick days a year is a bare minimum. The fact that the United States is one of just a handful of countries that does not require paid family or sick leave is nothing short of shameful.”
Despite some natural opposition to the proposal, many people are in favor of it, like Betsy Stevenson, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers who said that paid leave makes economic sense by helping companies retain workers and boost productivity,
“Study after study finds that these policies are good for children, workers and employers. We need to follow the lead of other industrialized countries and make sure all workers have these protections.”
One of the advantages of being a ” lame duck president’ is that there is no concern about re-election and no need to satisfy potential voters.
So, Barack Obama can take full advantage of that situation, and he is.