North Dakota House rejects paid family leave bill
BISMARCK — North Dakota House lawmakers rejected a bill creating a new paid family medical leave program Tuesday, Feb. 5.
House Bill 1509, championed by Fargo Democratic Rep. Karla Rose Hanson, would have required larger employers and its workers to put money toward a fund to benefit eligible employees on leave for personal medical reasons or to care for a family member. The program would have provided for 66 percent of an eligible employee's wages, up to $4,000 per month.
Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Maxbass, said many employers already offer a variety of leave programs, but the bill doesn't allow them to opt out of the proposed mandate. Hanson contended today's system "isn't working" because many people can't afford to take unpaid time off to care for a loved one.
The bill failed in a 75-17 vote that fell largely along party lines.