Paid Family Leave

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

A proposal to establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program had its first hearing Wednesday at the State House. The idea has been in the works for a while, but some advocates think New Hampshire is finally primed for the idea.

Parents, doctors and child advocacy groups are urging New Hampshire lawmakers to support paid family and medical leave and help reduce the costs of child care.

Supporters of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy lobbied representatives Thursday on two bills. One would establish a family and medical leave insurance fund allowing for up to 12 weeks of paid leave. The other would add $15 million to the state budget to help families pay for child care.

Kristin Smith, Carsey School Of Public Policy / University of New Hampshire

Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation to create a statewide paid family and medical leave program.   Today in Manchester, more than a dozen lawmakers attended a conference on the subject.

New research says an overwhelming majority of New Hampshire residents support paid family leave and medical leave insurance.

The survey found 88 percent of women and 76 percent of men support a law establishing a paid family leave and medical leave insurance program in the state.

PeterHDK / Flickr/CC

In his new book, Josh Levs says many dads today want to engage with their families, but old office stereotypes prevail, with corporate policies standing in the way.  He says that hurts not only fathers, but families and businesses as well.

This program was originally broadcast on 9/16/15.

    

GUEST:

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted down a bill in a 2-1 margin Thursday that would mandate paid sick leave.

Under the measure, businesses with 15 or more employers would be forced to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.  

Republican Len Turcotte of Barrington said mandatory sick leave would only lead to harmful regulatory policies for employers.

“Employee contracts between an employer and an employee is an agreement that is freely reached and should be reached between the two parties without bureaucratic inference,” Turcotte his fellow colleagues.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

Brady-Handy Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

Male-only swimming pools, too few bathrooms, inappropriate sexual comments: On today’s show the secret--and not so honorable--history of women in the U.S. Senate.

Then, common wisdom tells us that half of marriages end in divorce. Turns out, the oft-quoted number is wrong. We’ll debunk the pervasive divorce rate myth. And, we’ll take an unfiltered look at the state of family and maternity leave in America.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

NHPR Staff

A bill going before New Hampshire lawmakers would require employers to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

House Democrat Mary Stuart Gile of Concord is one of the sponsors, and says under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 15 employees would be exempt.

"Essentially, this bill is looking at workers in the service areas and who work part-time," she said. "For example, under our bill, people who work in offices but are not full-time workers would be able to have paid sick days."