Recently, the House Ways & Means Committee voted to advance a bill creating a permanent, comprehensive national paid leave program as part of the Build Back Better package. We are thrilled by the proposal put forth by Chairman Richard Neal and the committee, which covers all workers and encapsulates a range of caregiving needs. This progress marks an important step forward, towards a future where workers don’t have to choose between their economic security and caring for themselves and their loved ones in times of need.
Under this proposed law, all workers—whether they are employees or independent contractors, work in the public or private sectors, regardless of the size of their employer—would have access to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for one’s own medical needs, care for a seriously ill loved one, to welcome a new child, or address the impact of military deployment.
After years of fighting to extend the right to paid leave to all workers, the recent progress this groundbreaking proposal has made in the House is cause for hope– especially amidst the backdrop of a pandemic that has shown just how beneficial supportive work-family policies like paid leave are for the national economy and public health. We must take advantage of this promising momentum by urging Congress to pass this landmark bill.
Building Back Better starts by addressing the needs of working families, who have long faced devastating financial and health consequences due to the lack of comprehensive paid family and medical leave. We are calling on Congress to pass the bold, inclusive paid leave program Americans need now without delay. Now is the time to make paid leave for all a reality.