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Congress Must Follow New York’s Lead and Pass Paid Leave and the PWFA

We are proud of the successes of New York's paid family leave program and statewide protections for pregnant workers and hope to see Congress follow suit by passing similar supportive policies at the federal level.
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On November 1st, A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst joined New York Governor Kathy Hochul as she signed into law a bill expanding New York’s landmark Paid Family Leave Law to include siblings as covered family members. This critical update to the law, which goes into effect in January 2023, will help ensure the strongest possible protections for New Yorkers who need paid time off to care for their seriously ill loved ones without risking job loss.  

While we are immensely proud of the success of New York’s paid family leave program, it is unconscionable that the federal right to paid leave, which would be a lifeline to women and working families nationwide, is on the cutting room floor in Congress.  Congress must follow New York’s lead and pass paid leave for all.  

In the midst of a global pandemic, care crisis, and labor shortage, Congress must also follow New York’s lead and pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. “While pregnant and postpartum women in New York State have clear rights to accommodation to protect their health, millions of women across the country still do not, causing them to lose their jobs and face dire economic consequences,” said Bakst.

As Bakst pointed out in her remarks, this week also marks the 43rd anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Our new issue brief “The Pandemic & The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” reveals that, in 2021, glaring gaps remain in our legal framework that continue to harm pregnant and postpartum workers, especially women of color in low-wage jobs. 

That’s why we led a day of action on November 2nd to call on the Senate to bring the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to a vote without delay! Join us in telling your Senators to Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Now!

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