Is the Congress Getting Serious about Paternity Leave?


Kevin Price, who is host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business radio program, recently interviewed Hessam Parzivand of the Parzivand Law Firm about the sudden interest in Congress in a revenue neutral Paternity Leave bill. The reason it is being called “revenue neutral” is because people will pay for their leave with future Social Security benefits.  The Parzivand Law Firm focuses specifically on labor law and Parzivand is a frequent guest on the Price of Business show.

According to information from his site, Parzivand “graduated #1 in Human Resources at Louisiana State University in December 2006. After graduating, he traveled to the Middle East interviewing people of 14 different nationalities. He compiled his interviews into a book entitled Winning Middle Eastern Heart and Minds, which was published in 2008. He continued his education by obtaining his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in May 2010, where he served as Chief Notes & Comments Editor of the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal. While at the University of Houston, he began working for a law firm practicing employment law. Hessam successfully represented both employers and employees during his tenure at the firm. His experiences include litigating two of the largest overtime collective actions of the last decade, successfully defending employers in various industries from Department of Labor Investigations, and assisting businesses with litigation, employment agreements, and compliance issues. Combining his HR knowledge with experiences as a representative of both employees and employers gives him a strong perspective on employer compliance issues.”

Here is the interview in its entirety, including an assessment of the possibility of passing.

Of the many similar bills being promoted by Republicans to make family leave easier is a bill promoted by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).  In a statement Sen. Ernst said:

“Their legislation, the CRADLE Act, would allow parents to receive one, two, or three months of paid leave by giving them the option to postpone activating their Social Security benefits. The plan provides every new mom and dad the flexibility to stay home with their newborns during the critical first months after birth, without creating another massive mandated government program or adding to our ever-growing deficit.

“’It’s past time we modernize our family leave policies to reflect the evolving needs of today’s workforce and to reduce the barriers that pose challenges for parents balancing family and work. Millions of working moms and dads in Iowa, and across the country, face huge hurdles in taking time off to spend with their newborns. As a mother, I understand how important it is for children to bond with their parents in the first precious few weeks after birth,’ said Senator Joni Ernst. ‘Our proposal is a path forward for a budget neutral paid leave option that gives parents greater flexibility without imposing a new government entitlement or mandate.’

“’Families are the bedrock of our society. If young people can’t afford to marry and start a family then the American dream literally has no future,’ Senator Mike Lee said. ‘We need to make sure our existing social insurance programs are doing all they can to work for working families. The CRADLE Act will give working families the flexibility they need to make sure Social Security is working for them.'”

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