SHRM Welcomes White House, Congressional Discussion of Paid Leave

Senate hearing examines critical issue of paid family leave; House’s ‘Workflex in the 21st Century Act’ offers new approach to expanding paid leave and flexible work options

July 11, 2018
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) welcomed today’s Senate Finance Subcommittee’s hearing on paid family leave proposals as an important opportunity to focus on all the support working families and individuals need – including paid leave and flexible workplace options.

The world’s largest HR association welcomed policymakers’ engagement on paid leave as momentum builds for the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219), which not only expands paid leave for employees but also reflects today’s most innovative workplace strategies.

"Human resource professionals are pleased to see paid leave on center stage, as addressing this critical priority is essential to addressing the challenges facing working families and meeting the needs of America’s workforce,” said Mike Aitken, SHRM’s senior vice president of government affairs. “It is also important to recognize that employees need options beyond paid leave. They need the flexibility to determine how, when and where work is done to be successful both at work and home – that is what the Workflex in the 21st Century Act offers.”

About the Workflex in the 21st Century Act 

The Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219) is an innovative approach to providing more time off for employees and more predictability for employers. For participating employers, the legislation would create predictability in a single federal framework for providing paid leave, rather than the fragmented patchwork of state and local laws mandating leave. To date, seven states and more than 30 jurisdictions have adopted paid sick leave laws, and this legislative activity is only expected to increase in coming years.

The Workflex bill builds on the success of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to make paid leave and flexible work arrangements an employee benefit under the statute. If an employer offers all its employees a minimum amount of compensable leave and a flexible work arrangement, this ERISA-covered plan would pre-empt state and local paid leave and flexible work arrangement laws.

Media: For more information or to request an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Affairs at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.

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