Gillibrand pushes to expand Medical Leave Act - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gillibrand pushes to expand Medical Leave Act

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, visited a day care center in Plattsburgh Tuesday, where she met with some working moms.

Gillibrand wants to expand the nation's Medical Leave Act so workers who take leave to care for a sick child or loved one can still earn a portion of their salary.

Kristin DeVoe, a young mother from Plattsburgh, says she lost her home and eventually her job when she took time off to care for her young daughter, who spent weeks in a Boston hospital.

"I'm hoping that this act will help parents like me who have small children, especially one-parent households, get through times like this where you can't work and have other children to take care of and you have no income and your job is replaced," DeVoe said.

"It's not all the money you would have earned, but it's enough to keep you afloat. And that's what we're trying to do for families just like Kristin's," Gillibrand said.

Right now, under federal law, workers can take up to 12 weeks off without pay.

Gillibrand says under the new Family Act, workers could receive up to 66 percent of their wages for 12 weeks. She says a small tax on wages similar to those on Medicare and Social Security could pay for the program.

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