A bill is being introduced that would guarantee all Louisianans 12 weeks of paid family or medical illness leave, along with legal protections against being fired while out.

Berni Consulting partner Caitlin Berni said it would allow you to draw from a fund managed by Workforce Development, and paid into by you and your employer every paycheck.

“Just over half of a percent of a person’s salary.  That would be split with 55% being paid by the employee and 45% being paid by the employer.”

The bill includes parental leave, leave to take care of a close relative who has fallen ill, and long term medical leave for events like chemotherapy in cancer patients.

Berni said the pot of leave money would grow over time, and mechanisms would be put in place to cover expenses of young workers who need to take the leave before they’ve built up enough money to cover 12 weeks. Berni said the leave is transferable between jobs.

“You would still be able to take that leave, even if you moved to that new job as long as you’ve been paying in for the appropriate amount of quarters that are specified in the legislation, so I think it’s four quarters.

The leave pay would come directly from the fund, and not your employer while you were out.

Louisiana Families First is beginning a statewide effort to push support for the proposal. While it would functionally be an income tax increase of about a quarter of a percent on most workers, she said 82 percent of those polled were on board.

“We did some polling that determined support for paid leave, and it also determined that a plurality of voters think the cost should be shared between employer and employee,”

The bill is being brought by New Orleans, Senator JP Morrell.