As 2020 ushers in a new decade, it brings with it many changes to paid family and medical leave laws throughout the U.S.—a cause for celebration for workers and their families. Washington State’s paid family and medical leave program officially went live on January 1. Workers can now receive benefits for up to 12 weeks for medical leave or family leave, up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period. Nearly all employees in the state are covered, including both public and private sector workers, and self-employed workers can opt in to coverage.
Since 2015, we've worked closely with advocates and lawmakers to push for a comprehensive paid family & medical leave program in Tennessee. On Wednesday, we joined State Representative Gloria Johnson in Knoxville to announce the Tennessee Family Insurance Act, a bill to grant paid family and medical leave to all workers in the state. Under this proposal, employees would contribute a small amount each month to a paid family and medical leave insurance fund.
A measure to guarantee paid parental leave to federal employees has been included in the final National Defense Authorization Act and is expected to pass in both chambers—a huge victory for our nation's 2 million public servants and their families!
Today marks the launch of Paid Leave for All: the largest-ever campaign to win an inclusive federal paid family and medical leave policy. We’re proud to be among the leaders of the Paid Leave for All collaborative—which includes dozens of state and national organizations—and fight for an inclusive paid family and medical leave policy that covers all working people and their families.
The "Advancing Support for Working Families Act"—introduced this week by Senators Bill Cassidy and Kyrsten Sinema—is a harmful proposal disguised as “paid leave” that merely offers a loan. By requiring parents to borrow from their future child tax credit in order to access funds, the bill would create a burdensome debt for working families, especially for low income households.
We joined our partners in signing a letter urging Congress to keep the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act provision in the National Defense Authorization Act conference Agreement. There is a growing consensus across the country that paid leave is a necessity, and passing this measure would bring us one step closer to achieving paid leave for all!
The federal government is the nation’s largest employer—and its employees receive no paid family and medical leave. Congress currently has the opportunity to change that by passing the Federal Employees Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), which would bring paid leave to more than 2 million Americans.
The report’s data on men’s usage of paid family leave is another key indicator of the program’s success: nearly a third of those who took bonding leave were men. These findings coincide with the release of our new resource: Your Paid Family Leave Rights: A Guide for Dads and Male Caregivers in New York State.
Not only does structurally placing the burden of childcare on women hurt women’s careers and perpetuate the wage gap—policies like these deny men the opportunity to spend precious bonding time with their children early-on, and exclude single dads and LGBTQ dads entirely. We’re fighting to change that, state by state, by passing paid family & medical laws that include all caregivers and their loved ones.
The New York Times Parents published two great guides for workers navigating conversations with their employers regarding parental leave.