President Biden's fiscal year 2024 budget includes plans that would impact employers, such as an employee leave program.
The budget is a blueprint of what the president would like to see accomplished; it proposes changes. Whether any of those changes will be realized depends upon many variables, including the makeup of Congress.
While the chances of these concepts being completed is slim, employers should keep an eye on them, as they inspire conversations that can promote them.
The 2024 budget includes the following:
- Employee leave: A strong focus on a federal leave program.
- A national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program would provide workers with progressive, partial wage replacement to take up to 12 weeks of leave to:
- Care for and bond with a new child;
- Care for a seriously ill loved one;
- Heal from their own serious illness;
- Address circumstances arising from a loved one's military deployment; or
- Find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- Employees would also be able to take up to three days of leave to grieve the death of a loved one.
- Employers would be required to provide seven job-protected paid sick days each year to all workers.
- More funding for enforcement: A $430 million increase to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) budget so it can better enforce laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which enforces laws about child labor, wages, benefits, misclassification as independent contractor, and occupational safety, and an increase of enforcement funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Higher penalties: Increased penalties for violations of laws enforced by the DOL, EEOC, and NLRB.
- Improved UI: Modernizing the unemployment insurance (UI) program to include funding to support more robust identity verification for UI applicants.
Employers need not hit the panic button yet, as these are somewhat of a wish list, but they should keep an eye open for any progress these initiatives might see.
Key to Remember: The budget is a blueprint of what the president would like to see accomplished. Whether any of those changes will be realized depends on many factors. Employers should, however, keep an eye on the proposals.