Pelosi Statement on Expansion of Emergency Leave in Third Coronavirus Response Package

March 17, 2020
Press Release

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on provisions under consideration to expand emergency leave in the House’s third coronavirus response package:

“Last week, the House was proud to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: strong, bipartisan legislation that builds on our first, $8.3 billion emergency supplemental package to protect families’ health, economic security and well-being.  This legislation puts Families First with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of family and medical leave, and it supports small businesses by fully reimbursing them for providing leave, so that they can keep workers healthy without taking on additional costs.

“Over the weekend, Democrats staved off the Administration’s attempt to eliminate workers’ health care guaranteed under the Family and Medical Leave Act mandate, upholding the bedrock promise that workers are entitled to the continuation of group health coverage, wages and job security when they use long-term leave.  We also successfully secured a refundable tax credit for employers who provide that health care during their family medical leave.

“Now, as the House develops our third Families First package, we are working to advance additional steps to expand the emergency leave mandate, including:

  • Ensuring that workers who are sick can access longer term leave if short- and medium-term leave is exhausted;
  • Increasing the scope of allowable uses of family and medical leave; 
  • Expanding refundable tax credits to provide support for self-employed workers, workers in the gig economy or other workers with non-traditional employment; and
  • Working to ensure that any action taken by the Administration balances the workforce needs on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis while ensuring that first responders and health care workers have access to the paid leave that they need.

“During negotiations, the Democratic House will continue to make clear to the Administration that any emergency response package must put Families First before any aid to corporate America is considered. 

“Congress will continue to work with the experts and across the aisle to advance smart, strategic and science-based response that puts Families First.”