Looks like the feds are reaching out in their efforts to expand paid medical and family leave — to the individual states.  

The Department of Labor recently awarded $500,000 to assist the District of Columbia and several states in funding feasibility studies on paid leave. The studies will inform the development or implementation of paid family and medical leave programs at the state level.

“Too many working families today can’t afford to take the time they need to care for their families or themselves because they lack any form of paid leave,” DOL secretary Thomas E. Perez said in a press release. . “We need to do more to give people the tools to be responsible employees and good caregivers, so they don’t have to choose between the families they love and the jobs and economic security they need. These federal grants will further our understanding of this issue. Because paid leave isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense.”

Here’s where the money will go:

  • The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services will receive $96,281 to produce an economic impact analysis, financing and benefit models, and a cost-benefit study to assess the feasibility of enacting a paid family leave program.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards will receive $117,651 to conduct research and develop a microsimulation model that will help the state estimate eligibility, take-up and benefit costs of a variety of proposed paid family and medical leave programs.
  • The Montana Department of Labor and Industry will receive $124,651 to research the feasibility and economic impact of creating a state paid family leave program – including providing financing, eligibility and benefit recommendations – and to conduct public opinion research for communications and implementation purposes.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training will receive $161,417 to determine the effectiveness of the Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program and its benefits for Rhode Islanders, as well as the public’s awareness of the program.

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