ALBANY – Vice President Biden appeared – again – with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday in their latest joint venture: pressing for passage of an employee-funded family leave measure.
“This is in everybody’s interest, including the employer,’’ Biden said at an event in Manhattan with Cuomo, state legislators and members of Congress. Biden and Cuomo had several appearances last year together – at a time when Biden was still mulling a White House run – including New York City and Rochester.
Cuomo, who has spent relatively little time publicly pushing the 2016 state budget plan he unveiled more than two weeks ago, used the Biden get-together to try to advance his proposal to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks off to provide care to a family member. The program would cost employees 60 cents a week beginning this April to build up the time-off bank before beginning in 2018. For the first several years, it would pay 35 percent of the state’s average wage, or about $443 based on current salary estimates.
Employers call the program, along with a Cuomo plan to raise the minimum wage to $15, a state-imposed mandate that will have an especially negative effect on small businesses.
When fully effective in 2021, workers would be paid half the average weekly wage rate, and workers would see annual payroll deductions rise to $1.09 per week to pay for the program.