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House passes family leave bill

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On Thursday, March 22 the New Hampshire House passed HB 628 to establish a family and medical leave program in New Hampshire.

About HB 628

All private employers must join the program in HB 628 or offer equivalent coverage through private insurance.

The program collects 0.67% of each employee’s wages. In return, employees are eligible for six weeks of leave, paid with 60% of their regular wages.

Employees can choose to opt out of the program, however.

HB 628 now heads to the Senate for more debate.

Supporters, opponents for family and medical leave

Supporters of the program argue that it will attract young workers that want to have children or need to care for aging parents. This is especially important given New Hampshire’s aging population.

Supporters also note that the Department of Employment Security estimates that the program will still pay for itself if only 50% of employees participate.

Opponents of HB 628 argue that the program creates a huge financial risk for New Hampshire, since there is no way to know for sure how many employees will participate and how many will file claims.

Opponents have suggested several alternatives, such as a program that uses private insurance plans, or a program that requires employees to participate.

Do you have an opinion on family and medical leave in New Hampshire? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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