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Delaware Senate Democrats

ADVISORY: Sen. Sarah McBride to hold Paid Leave Works roundtable in Dover

November 29, 2021

WHAT: An ongoing series of roundtable conversations about how a paid family and medical leave program in Delaware would benefit working families will continue this week with an event in Dover.

Sen. Sarah McBride will meet with workers, business owners, elected officials, and advocates at the Modern Maturity Center at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1 to discuss Senate Bill 1.

First introduced in May, Senate Bill 1 would create a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program that workers can access when they experience a qualifying event, including a serious illness in the family, a new child or a household adjusting to a recent military deployment.

“The outcomes for people experiencing a serious illness improve dramatically when someone has an available caregiver at home to help in the recovery, while research shows having both parents at home in the first few weeks after child birth can dramatically improve child development,” said Sen. McBride, D-North Wilmington. “Almost every Delawarean will experience one of these qualifying events in their lifetimes, yet far too many of us will be forced to choose between our own health and earning a paycheck. We can do better for Delaware’s workers and families, and I’m committed to making this long overdue benefit a reality here in the First State.”

Also known as the Healthy Delaware Families Act, SB 1 would create a family and medical trust fund in Delaware modeled after similar programs already passed in nine other states and the District of Columbia. Delaware workers could then receive up to 80% of their average weekly wages through the state insurance program when forced to take extended time off from work due to a major medical event – leveling the playing field for small businesses that would otherwise be unable to provide the benefit on their own.

States with paid leave programs have seen higher worker morale and productivity, lower turnover costs for businesses and greater economic security for working families.

Despite the obvious benefits, the United States remains the only industrialized, modernized country in the world that does not have a paid family medical leave program in place for either parent – a fact President Joe Biden hoped to change with the American Families Plan he unveiled in April.

“Regardless of what happens at the federal level, it’s clear that state action will be necessary to secure what Delaware workers need and what President Biden originally proposed: 12 weeks of job protected paid leave,” Sen. McBride said. “It is time for us to deliver this pro-worker and pro-business benefit here in Delaware now.”

WHEN: 3 p.m., Wednesday, December 1

WHERE: Modern Maturity Center
1121 Forrest Ave.
Dover, DE

WHO: Sen. Sarah McBride
Rep. Debra Heffernan
Rep. Sean Lynn
State Treasurer Colleen C. Davis
State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro
Health care providers
Representatives from the Delaware Nurses Association
Representatives from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Delaware Chapter
Tim Gibbs, Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association
Tricia Ewing, Prevent Child Abuse Delaware
Jan White, small business owner and state ambassador, American Cancer Society
Katherine Caudle, AFSCME
The Rev. Rita Paige
Impacted workers