FAMILY Act

116th Congress: H.R. 1185; S. 463 

The Problem

Welcoming a new child, caring for a sick spouse or parent, or facing a serious illness can change – and strain— any family’s bottom line.  Access to uniform paid leave is essential to closing the gaps created by these major life events and helping families stay healthy both physically and financially. Due to systemic discrimination including health disparities, LGBTQ people facing these changes often find themselves having to choose between the caregiving or recovery time they deserve and the paycheck they need. 

We know that LGBTQ workers facing a major life event are often left with leave policies that are under-inclusive at best.  According to a 2018 survey fewer than half of policies cover parents of all genders equally or are inclusive of the many ways that families welcome a child including through childbirth, adoption, or foster care. Even for LGBTQ workers whose employers have a formal paid leave policy, one in five respondents to the 2018 survey reported that fears of discrimination could prevent them from requesting a leave if it would require disclosing their LGBTQ identity.

What is the FAMILY Act?

The FAMILY Act would help bridge the financial gap facing many working families following the birth or adoption of a child as well as personal or family illness requiring leave from work. The FAMILY Act would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of financial support during a family or medical leave from work. This would cover time taken following the birth or adoption of a child including time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth, as well as leave taken to care for a sick child, parent, spouse or domestic partner, recover from illness personally, or time taken for military caregiving and leave purposes. 

What is the Current Status of the Bill?

The FAMILY Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) on February 12, 2019 and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on February 13, 2019. 

 

For more information, please contact legislation@hrc.org. Read about other Federal Legislation pertinent to the LGBTQ community here.

Last Updated: October 2, 2019