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PIA Calls for OMB Assistance in Rescinding 1999 Baby-UI Executive Order

Press release from the issuing company

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (June 3, 2002) – The Printing Industries of America (PIA), a trade association that represents over 13,000 printers in the manufacturing sector, strongly urges the Office of Management and Budget to support immediate rescission of the Department of Labor’s Birth and Adoption Unemployment Compensation (BAA-UC) rule of 1999. The BAA-UC regulations authorize states to withdraw funds from their unemployment insurance (UI) trust accounts to compensate employed workers who take leave following the birth or adoption of a child for up to one year. "While this might sound like a worthwhile program, the negative consequences of adding tens of thousands of people to those eligible for UI funds are enormous," said Wendy Lechner, Senior Director for Federal Employment Policy at PIA. "Today, roughly half of state UI trust funds are close to insolvency. UI funds have been paid by employers to ensure that workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own have a safety net between jobs." For 65 years, unemployment insurance benefits have been limited to unemployed workers who are "able and available" for employment. This new regulation is an unprecedented expansion of who is considered to be unemployed, which will end up costing employers millions more in taxes. Parents voluntarily choosing to have a baby or adopt should not be confused with people who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Family leave (FMLA) is currently limited to companies with 50 or more employees. Small businesses will be subsidizing the voluntary leave of employees in larger businesses. "Most of the businesses within our industry are small, approximately 20 employees, with a profit margin of 3%. In addition, many printers are still recovering from the effects of the recent recession," Lechner explained. "Many of these small businesses will not be able to pay the costs of additional taxes needed to pay for these new benefits without raising prices on goods and services or forcing more workers to become unemployed. The BAA-UC rule is counterproductive."