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Measure seeks to set up voluntary paid family leave insurance in Kentucky

A man holds an infant in his arms.
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House Bill 179 doesn't include mandates for businesses to participate. Instead, businesses could choose to purchase family leave insurance and offer it to its employees.

Legislation to establish voluntary paid family leave insurance in Kentucky is moving through the General Assembly. The measure is before the full House. House Bill 179 is sponsored by GOP Rep. Samara Heavrin of Leitchfield.

“You know specifically I got interested in this for making sure that moms and babies or fathers and babies get to bond with their child. Those first few weeks are so important in allowing families to be able to have that opportunity. But this also allows you to help with family leave, so if you have a loved one that’s sick. Also, it covers adoption,” said Heavrin.

Heavrin said the legislation sets out no mandates on employers, workers, or families. Businesses may opt to purchase the paid family leave insurance and then offer it to their employees.

She added this form of insurance is similar to disability provisions.

“You know if you’re off and not making money, you don’t necessarily get paid for that time off. So, this would allow for families to use that insurance policy to get back some of their wages and not completely lose their salary,” said Heavrin.

Heavrin noted only products authorized by the Kentucky Department of Insurance would be offered.

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