Summary: H.R.5973 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5973. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (09/17/1992)

Family Investment Act of 1992 - Title I: Family and Medical Leave - Subtitle A: Short Title; Findings and Purposes - Family and Medical Leave Act of 1992 - Sets forth the short title of this title I, along with findings and purposes.

Subtitle B: General Requirements for Leave - Establishes certain requirements for family and medical leave for permanent employees.

Makes employees eligible for such leave if they have been employed, by the employer from whom leave is sought, for at least: (1) a total of 12 months; and (2) 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period. (Excludes from such coverage: (1) employees at worksites at which the employer employs less than 50 persons, if the total number of employees of that employer within 75 miles of that worksite is less than 50; and (2) Federal officers and employees covered under subtitle C of this title.)

Entitles employees to 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period because of: (1) the birth and care of their child; (2) the placement of a child for their adoption or foster care; (3) their care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition; or (4) their own serious health condition which makes them unable to perform the functions of their position.

Conditions such leave for the birth or placement of a child as follows: (1) the entitlement ends 12 months after the birth or placement; (2) such leave may not be taken intermittently unless employee and employer agree otherwise.

Allows intermittent leave for necessary medical treatment of an employee or family member. Allows the employer to require a temporary transfer to an equivalent alternative position that better accommodates such intermittent leave.

Allows all leave to which an employee is entitled under this subtitle: (1) to be taken on a reduced leave schedule, upon agreement with the employer; and (2) to consist of unpaid leave, except under specified conditions when substitution of certain types of paid leave may be elected or required. Declares that nothing in this Act shall require an employer to provide paid sick or medical leave in any situation in which the employer would not normally provide any such paid leave.

Requires employees to: (1) give at least 30 days' notice of the need for leave to which they are entitled under this Act, when foreseeable; and (2) make a reasonable effort to schedule medical treatment or supervision so as not to disrupt unduly the employer's operations, subject to approval of the health care provider.

Allows limitation of the dual aggregate leave entitlement to 12 weeks in any 12-month period, in the case of spouses employed by the same employer, if such leave is for the birth or placement of a child or for the care of a sick parent.

Sets forth conditions of certification for leave entitlements under this title, including provisions relating to: (1) sufficient certification; (2) explanation of inability to perform job functions; (3) dates and duration of planned medical treatment in the case of intermittent leave; (4) second opinion; (5) resolution of conflicting opinions; and (6) subsequent recertification.

Sets forth employment and benefits protections relating to leave entitlements under this title.

Requires restoration of the employee to his or her position or an equivalent position upon return from such leave. Allows an employer to deny such restoration to certain highly compensated employees (i.e. those among the highest paid ten percent of the employer's employees within 75 miles of the facility at which the employee works), under specified conditions, if necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the employer's operations.

Requires maintenance of employee health benefits during such leave. Allows the employer to recover premiums paid for such coverage if the employee fails to return to work after the leave period has expired for reasons other than a certified serious health condition or other circumstances beyond the employee's control.

Prohibits employers or other persons from: (1) interfering with employee rights under this title; or (2) from discriminating against any individual because of participation in proceedings or inquiries under this subtitle, or because the individual opposes any practice made unlawful by this subtitle.

Sets forth the investigative authority of the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) under this subtitle.

Provides for enforcement of this title. Provides for administrative action by the Secretary to resolve complaints of violations under this subtitle in the same manner as under specified provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Provides for civil actions by employees, and by the Secretary on their behalf. Makes an employer who violates this subtitle's prohibitions against interfering with employee exercise of rights or discriminating against employees liable for damages in the amount of: (1) any wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to the employee by reason of the violation; (2) (in any case where such compensation has not been denied or lost) any actual monetary losses sustained by the employee as a direct result of the violation, such as the cost of providing care, up to the amount of 12 weeks' wages or salary; (3) interest on such losses; and (4) an additional amount of liquidated damages equal to the sum of such losses and the interest (except that the court may reduce or eliminate such additional liquidated damages in cases where the employer can show good faith and reasonable grounds for believing that the act or omission was not a violation). Makes such employers also liable for appropriate equitable relief, including, without limitation, employment, reinstatement, and promotion. Requires the court to allow attorney's fees and other costs of the action to be paid by the defendant in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff. Sets forth provisions for limitations of such civil actions. Sets forth provisions for action for injunction by the Secretary.

Sets forth special rules concerning employees of local educational agencies and of private elementary and secondary schools, including provisions relating to intermittent leave for instructional employees, periods near the completion of an academic term, and reduction of liability.

Requires employers to post notice of the pertinent provisions of this subtitle. Requires fines for willful violations of such requirement.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to prescribe regulations to carry out this subtitle.

Subtitle C: Leave for Civil Service Employees - Amends specified Federal law to entitle civil service employees to family and temporary medical leave for specified periods.

Makes such employees eligible for such leave if they have been employed by an employing agency for at least 12 months on other than a temporary or intermittent basis.

Allows such employees up to 12 administrative workweeks in any 12-month period for: (1) family leave (i.e., leave because of the birth or placement of a child or care of a sick spouse, child, or parent), but such leave may not be used at a time more than 12 months after such birth or placement; or (2) temporary medical leave for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their position.

Provides that such leave shall be without pay. Allows employees to substitute other types of paid leave for any part of such leave.

Sets forth requirements for employees to give prior notice of the need for such leave, when foreseeable, and to schedule medical treatments, if possible, so as to not unduly disrupt the employing agency's operations.

Sets forth certification provisions.

Provides for protection for job position and health insurance benefits of employees using such leave.

Sets forth prohibitions against coercion.

Requires the Office of Personnel Management to prescribe regulations for administration of this title which are consistent with the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor under subtitle B of this title.

Subtitle D: Commission on Leave - Establishes the Commission on Leave.

Requires the Commission to conduct a comprehensive study of: (1) existing and proposed policies relating to leave; (2) the potential costs, benefits, and impact on productivity of such policies on employers; and (3) alternative and equivalent State enforcement of this title with respect to employees of local educational agencies and private schools. Requires the Commission to report on such study to the Congress within two years after the Commission first meets. Terminates the Commission within 30 days after its report to the Congress.

Subtitle E: Miscellaneous Provisions - Sets forth the effect of this title on other laws and existing employment benefits.

Provides that nothing in this title shall be construed to discourage employers from adopting more generous leave policies.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to prescribe regulations to carry out this subtitle within 60 days.

Subtitle F: Coverage of Congressional Employees - Applies the rights and protections established under specified provisions of subtitle B of this title to Senate employees and any employing office of the Senate. Makes specified provisions of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 applicable, with certain exceptions including limitations on the period for requests for counseling. Provides that allegations shall be considered by the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices or another entity designated by the Senate. Requires such Office to ensure that Senate employees are informed of their rights under this title.

Applies the rights and protections under subtitle B of this title to employees of the House of Representatives, except for the exemption concerning highly compensated employees. Requires that the remedies and procedures under the Fair Employment Practices Resolution be applied in administering such coverage.

Title II: Head Start, Child Immunization, and WIC Programs as Emergency Funding for Budget Purposes - Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to treat as emergency funding requirements not subject to discretionary spending limits the costs of carrying out Head Start programs under the Head Start Act, child immunizations under the Public Health Service Act, and the special supplemental food program (WIC) under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

Title III: Parents as Teachers - Parents as Teachers: the Family Involvement in Education Act of 1992 - Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a Parents as Teachers program. Authorizes the Secretary of Education (the Secretary) to make grants to States for parents as teachers programs, with special consideration for hard-to-serve populations.

Makes eligible for such a grant any State which operates a parents as teachers program associated with the Parents as Teachers National Center in Missouri.

Sets forth program requirements, limiting services to families during the period from the last three months of a mother's pregnancy to the child's attaining age three.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a Parents as Teachers National Center for information dissemination and technical and training assistance for States with such programs; and (2) evaluate such programs within four years.

Provides for a declining Federal share in such program from 100 percent in the first year to 25 percent in the fifth year.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title IV: Family Preservation - Subtitle A: References to Social Security Act - States that, except as otherwise expressly provided, all amendments in this title are to the Social Security Act.

Subtitle B: Child Welfare Services - Amends part B (Child Welfare Services) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA) to create an entitlement program for specialized child welfare services designed to keep together or reunify families in crises due to substance abuse, and prevent the need for placement in foster care.

Repeals provisions for incentive payments to States which maintain a foster care inventory, information system, and case review system; but requires States to provide such protections and other services designed to keep families together or reunify them, or to place children for adoption, with a legal guardian, or in some other planned, permanent living arrangement.

Requires States to submit the following types of reports on child welfare services and expenditures: (1) pre-expenditure reports; (2) post-expenditure reports; and (3) comparative financial contributions reports. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to transmit annually to specified congressional committees a summary of the information in such contributions reports.

Reserves funds for entitlement grants to State court systems to assess and improve procedures in child welfare cases, in carrying out SSA title IV parts B and E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance). Sets forth application requirements and formulas for determining the amount of such grants for FY 1994 through 1998. Directs the Secretary to submit interim and final reports to the Congress on the information obtained from assessments conducted with such grants and the impact of such grant program on State court procedures and functions.

Requires each State to compile biennially a detailed directory of programs designed to keep families together or reunify them or place children permanenty, identifying which of such programs provides specialized child welfare services to families in crisis due to substance abuse.

Requires State part B plans to contain a description of the measures taken by the State to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Subtitle C: Foster Care and Adoption Assistance - Amends SSA title IV to add a new part C, Comprehensive Service Projects to grant States the flexibility and resources to develop comprehensive and coordinated services designed to: (1) preserve and strengthen families with children at risk of placement outside their homes; (2) reunite children with their families expeditiously if an out-of-home placement is found to be necessary; and (3) place children in adoptive homes or other permanent arrangements in a timely fashion if reunification with their families is not appropriate.

Permits any State to apply to the Secretary for permission to: (1) conduct a comprehensive service project in a selected area or areas; and (2) suspend certain child welfare services and foster care and adoption assistance requirements with respect to State activities in such area or areas during the project. Sets forth: (1) application requirements and administrative provisions for such projects; (2) requirements with which such a project must comply; (3) provisions for determining project grant amounts; and (4) requirements for notification to States of such amounts, and for grant payments in equal quarterly installments. Places restrictions on the manner in which a State may carry out such projects. Requires States to report annually on funds expended under such projects to the Secretary and the Advisory Commission on Children and Families. Provides for project termination.

Permits foster care and adoption assistance payments to be made in certain cases involving abandoned children and children whose adoption has been set aside by a court.

Makes technical changes in the foster care maintenance and adoption assistance programs with respect to the removal from home requirement.

Gives States the option of providing for respite care for foster parents with children who have special needs.

Expands the definition of children with special needs for purposes of the adoption assistance program. Requires each States to submit to the Secretary the factors and conditions it uses to identify children with special needs, for purpsoes of such program, and any modifications to such factors and conditions.

Directs the Secretary to establish an Advisory Committee on Foster Care Placement to study and report to the Secretary and the Congress on reasonable efforts requirements under State part E plan provisions.

Covers specified percentages of State costs in developing, installing, and operating statewide mechanized data collection and information retrieval systems which: (1) the Secretary determines are likely to enhance the administrations of programs under parts B and E; and (2) meet other specified requirements.

Requires State part E plans to provide for: (1) a triennial review of the amounts paid as foster care maintenance payments and adoption assistance to assure their continuing appropriateness; and (2) a report to the Secretary on the results.

Requires that the dispositional hearing to determine the final status of a foster child occur within 12 months of his or her original placement, rather than the current 18 months.

Revises: (1) the definition of "case review system"; and (2) the time frame for judicial determinations on voluntary placements.

Sets forth case plan requirements for placement of children in out-of-State foster care. Requires annual review of the status of children in out-of-State foster care placements with the child present, except under certain circumstances. Requires States to collect data on the numbers of children in out-of-State foster care placements. Requires a State, in order to receive payments for expenditures after FY 1994 for foster care maintenance payments with respect to children placed in foster care outside the State, to conduct and submit to the Secretary a study identifying the number and common characteristics of such children and the reason why they were not placed in foster care in the State.

Permits States to allow foster children making the transition from foster care to independent living to accumulate assets for the purpose of establishing a household.

Eliminates: (1) the ceilings on Federal foster care payments to States; and (2) the States' authority to transfer unused foster care funds to the Child Welfare Services program.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish an advisory committee; and (2) after consultation with it, issue final regulations for training of staff of agencies responsible for administering foster care and adoption assistance programs and for training of foster and adoptive parents.

Directs the Secretary to publish annually information, on a State-by-State basis, on expenditures for, and the operations of, the Child Welfare Services program, the Foster Care and Adoption Assistance program, and Comprehensive Service Projects.

Amends SSA title IV to add a new part G, Child Welfare Review System, under which the Secretary is required to: (1) establish a new system for reviewing State child welfare program compliance with SSA requirements; and (2) take certain actions in cases of noncompliance, which include imposing financial penalties.

Subtitle D: Social Services Block Grant - Amends SSA title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services) to authorize increased appropriations under such grant program. Provides for the allocation of funds to Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

Subtitle E: Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Activities - Amends part A (General Provisions) of SSA title XI to require the Director of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to establish an Advisory Commission on Children and Families. Requires the Commission to collect and assess specified types of information in order to identify cost-effective approaches to protect and enhance the physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being of children and their families. Directs OTA to report annually to the Congress on the Commission and its assessment.

Requires the Commission to conduct, directly or through contracts with independent research organizations, the following research and evaluation projects: (1) an evaluation of child welfare service programs, including intensive family preservation programs; (2) foster care evaluations; (3) longitudinal child welfare data bases, and studies of child welfare population dynamics; and (4) comprehensive service projects evaluations.

Requires the Commission to study child separation guidelines.

Directs the Secretary to contract with independent organizations to conduct the following research and evaluations: (1) a study to assess the prevalence and nature of risks to the safety of employees of child welfare systems; and (2) a three-year study to examine methodologies for measuring the workloads of providers of child welfare services and community mental health services.

Directs the Secretary to authorize the following types of child welfare demonstration projects: (1) expeditious permanent placement of children; (2) child welfare worker training to deliver culturally sensitive and special needs services in U.S. areas that border on Mexico; (3) child welfare worker recruitment and retention strategies; and (4) joint training of child welfare workers and staff of mental health and juvenile justice agencies.

Permits the Secretary to authorize foster care and adoption assistance demonstration projects to test the feasibility of eliminating certain SSA income and resources requirements, and allowing States to receive reimbursement for foster care and adoption assistance payments made with respect to children without regard to such income and resources.

Directs the Secretary to provide technical assistance to States for: (1) implementing child welfare services, comprehensive service projects, and foster care and adoption assistance programs; (2) disseminating information on innovative child welfare agencies; (3) correcting problems identified through Federal audits and reviews and carrying out corrective action plans under foster care and adoption assistance programs; (4) implementing the foster care and adoption data collection system; and (5) addressing other matters identified by the Secretary.

Subtitle F: Miscellaneous Human Resources Amendments - Amend SSA title IV part A (Aid to Families with Dependent Chidren) (AFDC) to: (1) give States the option to use retrospective budgeting without monthly reporting under the AFDC program; and (2) increase the stepparent income disregarded under the AFDC program.

Amends the Family Support Act of 1988 to provide for an extension of the period for demonstration projects for evaluating model procedures for reviewing child support awards.

Title V: Safe Children and Communities - Safe Children and Communities Act of 1992 - Authorizes the Secretary to make grants for projects to improve the safety of families with children in low-income, violent communities. Authorizes appropriations.