Wisconsin Democrats Reintroduce Family Medical Leave Insurance Act

Wisconsin workers without employer-funded family medical leave would be able to buy in to a state-run insurance program under a proposal reintroduced Tuesday by Democratic state lawmakers.

Under the plan, participating employees would pay income-based premiums to support the program and be eligible to receive paid leave under certain circumstances, including to care for a newborn child, adopted child or sick family member.  Premiums would be deducted from employees’ paychecks. There would be no cost to their employers.

The proposal would also expand the state’s current family medical leave law to allow individuals to take leave for more family members, including grandparents and siblings.

The measure, sponsored in the Assembly by Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains, has been introduced twice previously. It has never received support from Republican lawmakers, who currently control both the state Assembly and Senate.

Opponents to similar plans in other states have expressed concerns with administrative costs for the state, as well as the effect of employee leave on businesses.