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Democrats introduce family crisis bill

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in November 2013.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in November 2013.

BAY SHORE, N.Y. — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said Thursday that she and other Democrats have a plan that would make every American eligible for up to three months of paid leave from their jobs in the case of a family emergency, and that the average cost would amount to one cup of coffee a week.

Gillibrand has introduced federal legislation to establish a program to be run by the Social Security Administration that would give workers two-thirds of their salaries for up to 12 weeks in a family crisis.

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‘‘Too many families can’t afford to take that time off unpaid,’’ Gillibrand said. ‘‘They have mortgage payments, they have car payments, they have to feed their children, and so taking a leave that is unpaid isn’t feasible.’’

Under the proposal, which also has been introduced in the House by Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the Social Security Administration would operate the program. It would be funded by employee and employer contributions of 0.2 percent of wages. Gillibrand said that would amount to an average of $2 a week. ‘‘It’s such a small amount,’’ she said.

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