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In the News: Statehouse Dems push paid family leave forward

INDIANAPOLIS – Attracting top talent keeps Indiana business leaders up at night. It’s a concern that State Senator Karen Tallian addressed head-on by pushing to develop a voluntary paid family leave program for Indiana employers. At a time when other workforce development efforts appear hazy and vague, a voluntary paid family leave program is a tangible step toward raising Hoosier workers’ quality of life.

From The Gary Post-Tribune Senate supports studying Indiana paid leave program

 “While it is important to offer unpaid leave protection, providing paid leave would do wonders to the average family and employer alike,” the resolution read. “Current research shows that paid family leave offers benefits to employers by boosting retention and reducing turnover costs, attracting talented employees, reinforcing a company’s values, providing increased employee morale, and better productivity.”

“Though FMLA is a step in the right direction, the lack of pay during leave places a significant financial burden on individuals and their families,” the resolution read. “Now is the idea time for Indiana to craft its own paid FMLA policies without overburdening employers.”

It’s no wonder Tallian has emphasized the policy as a means to entice talent. Of companies that have introduced a paid leave policy, a report posted to www.in.gov found 80 percent have reported higher employee morale and 70 percent saw higher employee productivity.

But Statehouse Republicans may repeat last year’s maneuvering, when they quietly buried a study of the issue.

From The Gary Post-Tribune Senate supports studying Indiana paid leave program

“Last session, Tallian said the Senate, House and governor agreed to start the committee but one was never created.

“Unfortunately, it was not assigned by the Legislative Council,” Tallian said.

“Sen. R. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, questioned the purpose of a study committee.

“I don’t know why we want to use our tax dollars to look at something that’s voluntary,” Young said.”

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody applauded Tallian’s initiative.

“Parents of a newborn or Hoosiers caring for a sick family member shouldn’t be worried about putting food on the table or losing their job,” said Zody. “This policy is a win-win. It boosts worker productivity and makes Indiana an attractive destination for top talent. This is how you invest in Hoosiers and raise our quality of life.”