Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Congressman Josh Harder (D-CA), and Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA) today introduced legislation to make it easier for employers to provide child care and elder care assistance to their workers by eliminating a regulatory barrier that discourages employers from offering these benefits.
Under current regulations, employers who want to offer child or dependent care assistance to their workers are exposed to costly and unbalanced overtime expenses linked to the value of the care assistance provided, making it more challenging to offer these pro-family benefits to their workers. The Empowering Employer Child and Elder Care Solutions Act will update the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to treat on-site child care services and other dependent care assistance provided by an employer like other employer-provided benefits and separate them from an employee’s “regular rate” of pay.
“Hardworking Upstate New York families caring for children and aging seniors rely on quality child and elder care while they earn a living, but a current regulatory barrier discourages employers from offering caregiving assistance to their employees,” Stefanik said. “I am proud to introduce a solution that empowers employers to offer this critical support to workers by simply treating child and elder care assistance the same as other employer-provided benefits. Whether it’s through on-site daycares or stipends to finance the costs of caring for an aging loved one, our bipartisan bill will pave the way for more employers to support the caregiving needs of their workforce.”
“We have the best workers here in the Central Valley, and it’s time they got the support they deserved,” Harder said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to make sure workers across the Valley have access to affordable, accessible care for their kids and any other dependents they have at home. Taking care of our loved ones should never have to play second fiddle to making a living.”
“Ensuring employee access to child care and elder assistance helps provide peace of mind to those facing this challenge. Current regulations make it nearly impossible for an employer to offer child or dependent care assistance to their workers. This bipartisan bill eases this regulatory burden to the benefit of employers, employees, and dependents,” Cline said.
"BPC Action applauds Reps Stefanik (R-NY-21), Harder (D-CA-10), and Cline (R-VA-6) for introducing the Empowering Employer Child and Elder Care Solutions Act. Affordable, quality child care is critical to keeping parents attached to work and supporting financially secure families. We need more policies such as this to help employers secure and retain workers for our economic future. We commend Rep. Stefanik for her leadership on this critical issue and encourage Congress to consider creative, bipartisan solutions to address the challenges working families and employers face,” said Michele Stockwell, Executive Director of Bipartisan Policy Center Action.
“SHRM is pleased to support the bipartisan Empowering Employer Child and Elder Care Solutions Act, and we are especially grateful to Representatives Stefanik and Harder for their leadership on this pressing issue,” said Emily M. Dickens, Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “The more than 300,000 members of SHRM are acutely aware that the need for reliable care affects the daily decisions of workers and inhibits the ability of employers to recruit and retain talent. This legislation offers solutions for the scores of organizations seeking to better support the caregiving workforce."
The Empowering Employer Child and Elder Care Solutions Act would:
- Reduce the cost and regulatory burden for employers seeking to offer child or elder care assistance,
- Align the treatment of these pro-family benefits with other employer-provided benefits, and
- Expand access to care for working families without mandates or new federal spending.
Read full text of this bill here.