Sens. Fischer, King urge DOL to promote paid family leave tax credit

U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Angus King (I-ME) are urging the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to raise awareness of the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) tax credit.

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Fischer and King led the effort to establish the PFML policy and tax credit, which was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and implemented in 2018.

However, the tax credit has gone largely unnoticed, as a recent survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business found that only 22 percent of small business owners had heard of the credit. In the recent FY 2024 funding legislation, Fischer secured language encouraging DOL to carry out a campaign to raise awareness of the PFML tax credit under Section 45S of the Internal Revenue Code.

“The Section 45S PFML tax credit provides employers with a tax credit up to 25 percent of wages paid to employees while on PFML. In order to claim the credit, an employer must offer all qualifying employees at least two weeks of PFML, have a written PFML in place, and pay at least 50 percent of an employee’s normal wages while on PFML,” the senators wrote in a letter to the DOL.

The senators informed the DOL that many employers remain unaware of the credit and its benefits due to delays in government-issued guidance and the COVID pandemic.

“We believe that there is a significant opportunity to help close this awareness gap and increase employee’s access to PFML by working to promote the availability of the credit,” the Fischer and King added. “Time is of the essence to carry out these efforts. We stand ready to work with you and the Department to help carry out these awareness efforts in order to help more employees gain access to PFML.”