This week, our partners at 9to5 Georgia, in partnership with the Georgia Coalition for Paid Leave, released a new report, “Dollars and Sense: A Cost/Benefit Analysis of Paid Leave in Georgia,” outlining the need for paid leave for all Georgians, the bipartisan support it has across the state, and how this vital supportive policy can be funded. A Better Balance is proud to be a core member of the Georgia Coalition for Paid Leave, and we are thrilled to have contributed to this informative new report outlining the benefits a paid family and medical leave program would have for Georgia families, businesses, and the overall economy.
Policy Manager of A Better Balance’s Southern Office and report contributor Feroza Freeland joined a virtual press conference announcing the report’s release this week. “The U.S. remains one of the only nations in the world with no national paid leave guarantee of any kind, and right now nearly 80% of workers in the South do not have access to paid family leave through their employers,” she said. “We also know that people of color and lower wage workers are even less likely to have access to this really important protection.”
The report explains how a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program would benefit Georgians by outlining the economic and health cases for paid leave while also highlighting the importance of paid leave in advancing racial and economic justice. In addition, the report elevates the lived experiences of Georgians who have experienced a need for paid leave, including a new mom struggling with postpartum depression, a single parent caring for her aging mother, and a worker whose savings were depleted while recovering from a major surgery. These diverse stories further underscore the universal and urgent need for paid family and medical leave.
While 11 states plus the District of Columbia have already enacted paid leave programs, these lifeline policies still remain inaccessible to workers across the country, including in states like Georgia, where about half of the state’s workforce is made up of women, two-thirds of Georgian families have mothers as the primary or co- breadwinner of the family, and a large share of households in the state are multigenerational.
We won’t stop fighting until everybody has the right to take the time they need to care for themselves and their loved ones without sacrificing their economic security.