Spotlight: Paid Family Leave

Today, we’re spotlighting paid family leave. Since Kirsten first introduced the FAMILY Act in 2013, this once-marginal issue has entered the mainstream — and we have a real opportunity to make progress on it.

Take a look at where we stand today, and how you can amplify Kirsten’s efforts to pass a real paid leave plan.

The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee some form of paid leave.

• The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act gives new moms 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but doesn’t apply to the 40 percent of Americans working at companies with fewer than 50 employees, or those who have been at their current job for less than one year.

Today, just 19 percent of American workers have access to some kind of paid leave and only 40 percent have access to short-term disability benefits.

The FAMILY Act would change that. Kirsten’s bill transforms paid leave into an earned benefit, affording all workers the ability to take up to three months of paid leave to care for themselves, a new child, or a loved one.

• Momentum is on our side: A new study from Data for Progress found that a majority of Americans support a national paid leave program that covers all workers for all of life’s caregiving needs.

• The study also found that the FAMILY Act is “the family leave proposal currently introduced in Congress that is most reflective of what working people need and…sets the standard for the 2020 Presidential field.”

• WATCH | Last week, Kirsten sat down with MSNBC anchor Katy Tur (who herself issued a powerful call to Congress to pass paid leave days after returning from maternity leave) to discuss the FAMILY Act

READ | The full Data for Progress study

Presidential candidates, members of Congress, and states around the country are following Kirsten’s lead and supporting and passing paid family and medical leave programs, helping millions of American families.

Unfortunately, there are a number of bad proposals out there that would harm those who need our help the most, including women, low-wage workers and communities of color.

Tell your member of Congress that you want real paid leave now — a plan that is:

  • Gender-neutral;
  • Family-friendly, covering new babies, sick parents, injured spouses, or your own personal medical emergencies;
  • Accessible for all workers, who own their benefit;
  • And affordable for all workers to take.



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