Sen. Daughtry appointed to serve on Paid Family and Medical Leave commission

Posted: September 17, 2021 | Senator Daughtry

AUGUSTA — Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, has been appointed to serve on the Commission To Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program. The commission was created by a bill she sponsored this year, LD 1559, “Resolve, To Create the Commission To Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program.”

Sen. Mattie Daughtry

“Since I was first elected to the Legislature, creating a paid family and medical leave policy that works for Maine has been one of my top priorities,” said Sen. Daughtry. “The COVID-19 pandemic has just further highlighted how important it is for workers to be able to take time off to care for themselves or their loved ones, without worrying about losing their paycheck or their job. I’m eager to get to work on this commission, to find a way forward that works for Maine businesses and workers alike.”

Only 15 percent of American workers have access to any sort of paid leave, and fewer than 60 percent of the workforce has access to unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Nationally, one in four women takes fewer than 11 days of parental leave after giving birth despite a recommended six- to eight-week recovery period. 

LD 1559, which Gov. Janet Mills signed into law in July, creates a commission to study and propose a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program for Maine. The commission includes legislators; small and large business owners; and experts in labor, family and medical leave policies, hospitality industries, elder care and maternity care. The outline for the commission membership can be found here. This commission will craft a system that best fits Maine’s needs and demographics, and  will report back by Feb. 1, 2022. Sen. Daughtry will serve as Senate Chair.