Business Leaders Criticize Trump’s Paid Leave Plan as Too Limited and Not Funded Responsibly

Media Release

Washington, DC – Today, the leading policy advocacy group for responsible businesses released a statement criticizing the paid family leave plan President Trump mentioned in his State of the Union speech, saying that the plan would provide limited benefits and reduce Social Security for participants. The following statement may be attributed to Hammad Atassi, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC): 

“During the State of the Union, the President mentioned his general support for paid parental leave. This is a step in the right direction, but the President’s proposal falls far short of what American employees need and what most businesses want to provide. The benefits are extremely limited, but even worse, the plan reduces an employee’s Social Security benefits – at a time when most employees are not saving enough for retirement. Instead, we support the FAMILY Act, which would provide the comprehensive benefits all American employees and businesses need, and it is funded with small contributions by both employees and employers. 

“The President’s plan presents a cruel choice to American employees. They should not be forced to choose between taking leave they need now or full retirement benefits. It is bad public policy to implement a government-mandated policy that drains the Social Security program during a time when many workers are already struggling to save enough for everyday emergencies, let alone retirement,” Atassi said. 

Paid leave is a key component of what ASBC calls the high-road workplace. Companies that follow the high road, value their employees, the communities in which they operate, and the products and services they provide as equally important to their financial success. High-road companies that implement paid leave programs understand that workers’ personal lives can impact their work lives. By taking the needs of their workers into consideration, high road companies reap the benefit of happy, productive employees and lower hiring and training costs. 

ASBC published a report, “The High Road Workplace: Route to a Sustainable Economy,” that describes high-road practices and principles. It may be found here.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 250,000 businesses in a wide range of industries.