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October 6 2015

IWF warms to Rubio's paid leave plan

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Carrie L. Lukas

Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum says conservatives often shy away from talking about paid leave. That's because the Left sounds compassionate about the topic, when there's no discussion of the cost to businesses.

"It's really easy and kind of fun to tell people, We're going to give you a new benefit and it's not really going to cost that much but everyone is going to be so much better off," Lukas says, citing the campaign speeches from Hillary Clinton as she runs for president.

"Well," Lukas says, "Republicans have to get in the game and say, No, explain what this does to people and explain that these costs come from somewhere."

Family law allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to care for a new child, recover from an illness, or care for a sick family members.

Clinton is proposing that the federal government force businesses to pay for the workers' time off. 

Lukas says she likes the business-centered plan offered by Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who is seeking the GOP nomination. His plan provides a tax credit to help businesses that provide leave.

Rubio's plan would give businesses a 25 percent tax credit for providing four weeks of paid family leave, The Associated Press reported. The business would be limited to 12 weeks of leave and $4,000 per employee.

Rubio unveiled the plan in September when he spoke at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. 

"Sometimes I think that gets lost in the conversation," Lukas explains, "that when a business provides paid sick leave, they have to pay money to a worker who is not there to do their jobs, as well as for often a replacement worker."

Those costs can be "real tough" on small businesses, Lukas points out, hence any push for paid leave to help families must include "trade-offs" for the costs.

"And I think it's Sen. Rubio is trying to find a better way to encourage leave but without a way that could ultimately backfire on workers," Lukas observes.

Democrats, meanwhile, claim that Rubio's plan doesn't do anything for women and families.

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Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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