Earlier this month, the District of Columbia City Council began considering what could become the most generous paid family leave benefit in the country.
Under this proposal – which enjoys the support of both the Obama Administration and a majority of the City Council – all D.C. residents would be eligible for up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave to care for a new child, recover from an illness or care for a sick relative. Benefits would be funded through mandatory employer contributions, and the maximum benefit could reach as much as $3,000 a week, depending upon a worker’s salary.
If passed, the D.C. family leave benefit would mark an overdue turning point in the nation’s otherwise stingy attitude toward paid leave. But as generous as the D.C. benefit would be, most parts of the industrialized world – including countries such as Hungary, Greece, Japan and Germany – already offer benefits that are considerably more lavish.