MSA co-hosted a Happy Hour event with Representative Rachel Prusak at the lovely Willamette Ale and Cider House in West Linn.
Representative Prusak welcomed small business owners from around her district, discussed her priorities for HD37 in the 2019 Legislative Session. Prusak heard from small business owners about their needs, in particular about paid family & medical leave, childcare, and capital access.
MSA members shared their stories with Representative Prusak, demonstrating the need for a strong PFML insurance program in Oregon. Across the state, Oregonians are working hard to make ends meet, but the state is falling short of providing them the support they need to manage the demands of job and family. Paid family leave is a policy most employees will need at one point or another, but only 13 percent of the countries workforce has access to paid family leave through their employers. Our communities are missing out on the economic stability and economy-boosting effects of keeping people employed while welcoming a new family member, caring for sick loved one, or recovering from their own illness or injury.
At the happy hour, MSA members got to talk with Rep Prusak about the FAMLI Act - it makes good business sense. The FAMLI Act will:
- Provide working Oregonians with up to 18 weeks of partial income for the birth or adoption of a child, or up to 12 weeks when they take time for their own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth recovery; the serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner; and/or for particular military caregiving and leave purposes.
- Enable employees to earn up to 90 percent of their weekly wages, up to a capped amount.
- Cover employees of all companies, no matter their size. Younger, part-time, lower-wage and contingent workers would be eligible for benefits.
- Be funded by small employee and employer payroll contributions of 0.5% of an employee’s wages - on average less than $1.00 per week for a typical employee - collected by the Oregon Department of Revenue.
- Be administered through the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Payroll contributions would cover both insurance benefits and administrative costs.
It is time for Oregon to be a leader, for our lawmakers to level the playing field for small business owners and put in place a policy and administrative office to help us meet the needs of our employees in ways that, to this point, only our largest competitors can.
An Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program would benefit our employees, their families, our businesses and our economy and we, and the Main Street Alliance of Oregon strongly support the FAMLI Act, a paid family leave program that works!