Senator Collett

The Family Care Act would establish a statewide paid family and medical leave program.

Harrisburg, Pa. — Today, Senator Maria Collett’s (D-12 Montgomery) Family Care Act, SB 580, passed through the Senate Labor & Industry Committee in an 8-3 vote. The legislation would establish a statewide paid family and medical leave program.

“Far too many of Pennsylvanians are forced to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads or caring for a new or sick family member. And for far too long, the Senate majority has stalled on bringing up vital legislation like my Family Care Act to ease those burdens,” Senator Collett said. “I was thrilled to see the Senate Labor & Industry Committee pass Senate Bill 580 today, bringing us one step closer to delivering paid leave to working Pennsylvanians — and a competitive edge to our small businesses.”

The legislation will give workers the ability to invest small deductions from their weekly earnings into a state-run employee benefit program, administered by the Department of Labor & Industry. Workers can then use the fund when they need it:

  • To care for themselves or a close family member in the event of a serious illness;
  • To care for a new child (including adopted children); or
  • To care for a member of the military in qualifying circumstances.

Collett first introduced the Family Care Act in 2019, inspired by her constituents, the Swain and Sheeder families, who shared the heartbreaking story of the loss of their infant daughter, Emersyn, to a congenital heart defect, and the challenges they faced without access to paid leave. Collett reintroduced the bipartisan legislation this session with co-prime sponsor, Senator Devlin Robinson.

SB 580 must pass the Senate Appropriations Committee and a Senate floor vote, before advancing through the Pennsylvania House in order to reach Governor Shapiro’s desk. The House version of the bill, HB 181, passed the House Labor & Industry Committee and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting a full floor vote in the House.

If signed into law, Pennsyvlania would join thirteen other states offering paid family and medical leave to eligible workers.