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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 15, 2017.
Healthy Families Act
This bill requires certain employers, who employ 15 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more workweeks a year, to permit each employee to earn at least 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
The bill authorizes small employers with fewer than 15 employees to provide the same paid sick time, but allows them to opt out. Any small employer that opts out shall provide at least 56 hours of unpaid sick time to each employee per calendar year.
The bill declares that an employer shall not be required to permit an employee to earn more than 56 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year, unless the employer chooses to set a higher limit.
Employees may use such time to: (1) meet their own medical needs; (2) care for the medical needs of certain family members (including a domestic partner or the domestic partner's parent or child); or (3) seek medical attention, assist a related person, take legal action, or engage in other specified activities relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The bill prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee's exercise of such rights.
The Commissioner of Labor Statistics must compile information annually on paid sick time and the Comptroller General shall study related matters.
The bill declares that nothing in this bill shall be construed to discourage employers from adopting or retaining more generous leave policies.
The Department of Labor shall exercise certain investigative and enforcement authority for employees covered by this bill, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, or the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991. The same authority is granted to the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Compliance, and the Merit Systems Protection Board for employees under their jurisdictions.
The bill authorizes civil actions by employees, individuals, or their representatives for damages or equitable relief against employers who violate this bill.