Rights for budding families could be considered one of the areas we're most lacking in as a country; however, a new proposed Florida bill would mean some big changes for expecting women and men if it passes.
The new bill, filed on December 10, 2019, would require employers to provide paid leave for both male and female parents for three months.
This would not only apply to families with newborns but also families going through the adoption process.
This would be huge for those looking to have a solid foundation for their new family, granting time to bond with both blood relations and welcomed adopted additions.
The bill, being called the "Florida Family Leave Act," would also prevent employers from denying parental leave to new mothers and fathers.
Additionally, requirements to accommodate requests for placement of pregnant employees in a position that is less strenuous or hazardous per doctor's instructions are included, all without repercussion.
Employers will not, however, be required to create new positions to place pregnant workers by request. Records must be kept on file for up to three years following the period of leave as well.
Furthermore, it mentions that employers will not be able to convince an employee to give up their right to paid leave or threaten an employee with termination; if they do try, it will be considered void and unenforceable — further adding a layer of protection for women in the workplace.
Additional employer requirements are listed in detail within the bill, outlining several examples of what would be considered unlawful employment practices.
Failure to follow the guidelines will result in fines to the job provider, as well as grant rights to negatively affected employees to seek compensation.
While there are no scheduled vote dates quite yet, there is a lot of promise in this bill. If it passes, the new laws would go into effect on July 1, 2020.
Most new parents will struggle to make ends meet when the baby comes and they decide to take time off. Currently, there is no requirement for new parents to receive paid leave: only up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under FMLA.
The new bill recognizes these facts and the struggles new families face, and could spell huge wins for new parents — especially women — and could potentially improve mental and emotional health across the board, by the simple fact of knowing they won't have to stress about income when their bundle of joy comes.