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Paid Leave Bill Puts a Few Families First

September 24, 2002

Gov. Gray Davis' reasoning for signing the outrageous paid family leave bill (Sept. 23) is that he believes in putting families first. OK, fine. But what about the issues that matter the most to the most families? What about the tax burden that takes an unbearable bite out of household income? What about the families whose children suffer in public schools so that the teachers union and the administration don't lose power or have to admit failure? What about the families whose breadwinner may lose his job when his employer cannot afford to support another employee's paid leave?

May I suggest a clarification of Davis' rhetoric: "I believe in putting a few families first at the expense of many others for cheap political gain and the appearance of taking action."

Brian Dean

Van Nuys

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First we had unpaid family leave. Now we have family leave paid for by an employee-supported fund. Soon we will find out that whatever the employee paid, the fund is not enough to pay for the actual cost. We will then have to deny or decrease the benefit to some members or raise the cost. No way! We will "invite" the employer to participate in this matter. Maybe we can "volunteer" the employer to pay for the entire cost and get it over with. Employers love their employees, don't they?

Members of the fund will take advantage of it because they paid for the "benefit." Let's see, if I am going to have a baby ... I will join the fund--at $70 a year, for a benefit of $728 a week for six weeks, which comes to $4,368. Not a bad deal. Can anyone imagine that I will not take advantage if I paid for the benefit? Bonding with my baby or not, it is good to have some paid time off. I will take advantage of the fund, too, when my spouse gets sick, when my parent gets sick and when my grandparent gets sick--I paid for it.

When I have enough kids, I may just quit the fund. No, come to think of it, I'd better stay in the fund. My spouse, kids, parents and grandparents can take turns getting "sick" each year. I can get paid to take care of them, at least once a year, every year. Of course, they could have an early recovery, but who is telling? I am getting six weeks off, paid.

Meanwhile, my employer has nobody to do my job.

Ringo Li

South Pasadena

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