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Delaware Senate Democrats

ADVISORY: Sen. Sarah McBride to hold Sussex Paid Leave Works roundtable virtually on Thursday

January 4, 2022

WHAT: The final roundtable conversation highlighting how a paid family and medical leave program in Delaware would benefit working families will be held virtually this week.

Sen. Sarah McBride will meet with workers, business owners, elected officials, and advocates from Sussex County via Zoom, starting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6.

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.

“SB 1 is supported by many small business owners across our state who recognize that a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program is the best way to level the playing field in their competition for talent with large corporations that can afford to provide this in-demand benefit on their own dime,” said Sen. McBride, D-North Wilmington. “They also recognize that the current status quo in which most Delawareans do not have access to even unpaid leave undermines both the health of individuals and our outcomes as a society. Forcing people to make the impossible choice between caring for a newborn and paying the rent is not only cruel, it’s poor economic policy. The legislation will benefit both our business community and our workers.”

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.

Thursday’s discussion will be the third roundtable on SB 1 that Sen. McBride has held since mid-November. Previous roundtable discussions can be viewed here and here.

“I have been open about my willingness to amend the current version of Senate Bill 1 to make sure we are passing legislation that serves the needs of a diverse workforce and the wide variety of businesses that call Delaware home,” Sen. McBride said. “These roundtables, along with numerous private and public conversations I have had with trade groups and chambers of commerce, have proven invaluable in helping me to craft a final version that will help Delaware attract young workers, grow our economy and put our state on a path to long-term success.”

WHEN: 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 6

WHERE: Click here to register

WHO: Sen. Sarah McBride
Rep. Debra Heffernan
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long
Treasurer Colleen Davis
Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro
Small Business Owners
Delaware Nurses Association
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Delaware Section
Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Paid Leave Advocates