Monday, September 22, 2014 - 2:15:06 PM

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Proposes Paid Leave Insurance Program

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced plans to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program on Friday.

But what does that mean for families if the bill is passed?

The legislation, called FAMILY Act for short, would work within the social security administration to provide paid work leave benefits. The act would create a worker funded trust fund, similar to Social Security, and collect a small portion of employee wages for the fund. Some are concerned about losing out on that portion of their paycheck, but many say the sacrifice would be worth it.

"But the reality is, there are sort of give and takes on both parts. But I think really what we need to make sure of is that employers are sensitive to the needs of their employees," said Sharon Chesna, Executive Director of Mothers and Babies Prenatal.

"I mean, it's worth it. And, it's just, it gives you peace of mind. To know that you can take care of yourself, you can take care of your family, and you're not going to lose your job," said Kate Murray, Vice President of the Federation of Labor Board, and mother of three.

According to Gillibrand, almost 50 percent of Americans can't afford to take an unpaid leave of absence.

Murray says many have bills to pay, children to take care of, and elderly parents to attend to. For some, losing even one day of pay can be detrimental.

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