Paid leave is critical to all families

Did you hear the news that Amazon is no longer going to provide paid leave to workers who test positive for Covid-19 and need to miss work? [1]

At the beginning of the pandemic, Amazon offered up to two weeks of paid time off for employees who had Covid-19 or needed to quarantine, and now, they’ve reduced that to five *unpaid* excused days from work.

This drastic change is yet another reminder that the United States is an outlier in the world when it comes to having a minimum paid leave law in place.

Access to paid leave, in the midst of a pandemic and when the pandemic is over, shouldn’t come down to winning the boss lottery or being lucky enough to live in one of the 11 states plus Washington, DC that has passed a paid family and medical leave law. We need a national paid family and medical leave law and we need it now.

Sign Now and urge Congress to pass family-centered policies like paid family and medical leave to help lower costs for families.

Two years into the global pandemic and our nation’s economy is on the road to recovery and there have been strides to help working families get back on their feet. The economy has created 7.9 million jobs and the unemployment rates are at their lowest levels in 54 years [2][3] and holding steady at 3.6 percent [4] yet despite these important gains, we still have plenty of work to do to support families across the nation. Americans are still trying in earnest to make ends meet and as inflation rates soar, it’s clear that we are in desperate need of policy solutions that will significantly lower costs for families, solutions like those included in President Biden’s National Covid Preparedness Plan that calls on Congress to provide paid sick leave to workers who need to miss work due to a case of Covid-19 or to care for a loved one who has Covid-19. [5]

Moms and families continue to go to work, attend classes, send their children to school and fulfill their caregiving responsibilities all while facing the possibility of Covid-19 infections. And if you’re lucky enough to be employed by a company that provides paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, then you’re ahead of the game because this isn’t the case for many working people in the United States; 26 million workers currently lack access to paid sick days and that includes 70 percent of the lowest wage workers. These workers are in jobs that often require frequent contact with the public, jobs in food preparation, home care and child care and in customer service positions. [6]

Sign Now and urge Congress to pass family-centered policies like paid family and medical leave to help lower costs for families.

Paid leave isn’t a vacation, by any stretch, paid leave is a necessity and it’s critical for working families who are struggling to make ends meet and fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. Not only does paid leave benefit employees by allowing them time to take off to recover from childbirth, bond with a new child, provide care for themselves or a loved one when a serious health issue arises or to recover from Covid, but paid leave boosts employee morale and keeps employees and especially women whose labor force participation has decreased dramatically in part due to caregiving responsibilities, attached to the workforce.

Our nation lacks family-centered policies like paid family and medical leave, and women, who bear the brunt of providing care have been disproportionately affected. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can do better. As we continue on the path to economic recovery for communities that have been hard hit, we must also encourage our champions in Congress to push and pass policies that support women and women of color. Women are still far behind men in terms of economic recovery, 181,000 women left the workforce in April alone and there are nearly one million fewer women working or seeking a new job than in February 2022. [7] We need comprehensive paid family and medical leave so women and working families don’t have to choose between putting food on the table and taking care of loved ones in times of need.

Providing paid leave to employees is the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do for businesses. In fact, did you know that paid family and medical leave is also overwhelmingly supported by small business owners? Small business owners are in favor of passing a paid leave policy because they would no longer need to carry the cost alone when an employee needs to go on paid leave. In addition, paid leave helps to reduce recruitment and retraining costs. [8]

I don’t have to sell it to you, but you can’t disagree with the data! Paid leave is an investment in our workforce, our families, our businesses and our economic growth. This is a cost saving measure and one that families will benefit from right now.

Sign Now and urge Congress to pass family-centered policies like paid family and medical leave to help lower costs for families.

Let’s once again, use our collective voices and urge Congress to act now and pass much needed relief like paid family and medical leave, that helps lower costs for families.

PS– Personal experiences are powerful and can make a HUGE difference in helping elected leaders understand how public policies impact families so they can move change. We want to hear more from YOU! Can you take a second and follow the link below to share your personal story about how having, or NOT having, access to job-protected paid leave or affordable, quality child care has impacted your family in the pandemic? https://action.momsrising.org/sign/EmergencyPaidSickandFamilyLeave

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