Trump wants paid family leave in federal budget

President Trump promised during his second State of the Union address on Tuesday to include federal paid family leave in his budget, although additional details on the plan were scarce.

“I am also proud to be the first president to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave -- so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child,” Trump said during the 82-minute speech.

Currently, the only four states to offer longer-term paid time off to new parents are California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. The program generally operates similarly to an insurance plan, in which workers pay in and can draw on the policy’s benefits if they take a leave of absence.

Because it acts like an insurance, there are no employer coverage rules and no exemptions for small employers, according to the Department of Labor. And the rules vary by state: For instance, Rhode Island and New York require that companies allow people who use the paid family leave to be able to return to their jobs, while California and New Jersey do not.

The president introduced a similar proposal last year, offering six weeks’ leave for new parents, including those who adopt, in order to give them time to “recover from childbirth and bond with a new child,” according to the budget.

Ivanka Trump, the first daughter who is also a White House adviser, has been a huge proponent of paid family leave. Writing for Fox News in July, she stressed the importance of offering such a policy to new parents.


“Paid family leave enables parents to balance the competing demands of work and family, pursue their careers, and build strong and thriving families,” she wrote. “It is an investment in the future of our workers, our families, and our country.”