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The Importance of Paid Leave

February 5, 2016
Blog Post
The Importance of Paid Leave
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which has given new parents time with their infants and provided employees the opportunity to take unpaid leave to care for sick family members. I was proud to vote for the FMLA when it passed Congress in 1993.
 
As a long-time advocate of efforts to advance family-friendly policies, I recognize working people face persistent challenges in trying to balance the responsibilities of work and family. However, according to some estimates, only about 60 percent of American workers have access to paid leave, which can place a financial burden on employees when a family emergency hits.  I strongly believe we should be doing more to support families.
As a long-time advocate of efforts to advance family-friendly policies, I recognize working people face persistent challenges in trying to balance the responsibilities of work and family. However, according to some estimates, only about 60 percent of American workers have access to paid leave, and only 13 percent have access to family leave. Medical emergencies, family crises, and the birth of a child can put a significant financial burden on employees. That's why every developed country in the world guarantees paid maternity leave, except the United States.
 
I believe we must do more to support families, and I am the co-sponsor of several pieces of legislation that would provide paid time off for new parents and other workers. The FAMILY Act would create a national insurance program to provide partial wages to all employed Americans facing a medical emergency or recovering from childbirth; the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, would offer same-sex couples and their children FMLA benefits and require certain employers to offer paid sick time, among other provisions; and the Parental Bereavement Act  would offer eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period because of the death of a son or daughter.
 
These bills would all be important steps in the right direction. We must provide robust paid leave for all American workers and their families.
As a long-time advocate of efforts to advance family-friendly policies, I recognize working people face persistent challenges in trying to balance the responsibilities of work and family. However, according to some estimates, only about 60 percent of American workers have access to paid leave, which can place a financial burden on employees when a family emergency hits.  I strongly believe we should be doing more to support families.Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has given new parents time with their infants and provided employees the opportunity to take unpaid leave to care for sick family members.
As a long-time advocate of efforts to advance family-friendly policies, I recognize working people face persistent challenges in trying to balance the responsibilities of work and family. However, according to some estimates, only about 60 percent of American workers have access to paid leave, which can place a financial burden on employees when a family emergency hits. I strongly believe we should be doing more to support families.
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has given new parents time with their infants and provided employees the opportunity to take unpaid leave to care for sick family members.
 
As a long-time advocate of efforts to advance family-friendly policies, I recognize working people face persistent challenges in trying to balance the responsibilities of work and family. However, according to some estimates, only about 60 percent of American workers have access to paid leave, which can place a financial burden on employees when a family emergency hits.  I strongly believe we should be doing more to support families.