June is Pride Month, a time to reflect on the history of the movement for LGBTQ rights and the progress yet to be made towards true equity. These past few years have seen challenges for the community in the form of attacks on LGBTQ rights and against LGBTQ parents, children, caregivers and families, but at the same time, there have been great strides towards ensuring our country’s work-family laws recognize and support LGBTQ workers and their families. We unequivocally are in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and remain dedicated to fighting for the protections gay, transgender, and queer workers and their loved ones need in order to maintain their economic security and thrive.
This spring saw the reintroduction of the Healthy Families Act and FAMILY Act, two federal bills that would make paid sick time and paid family and medical leave a right for workers nationwide. Both laws utilize inclusive definitions of family, recognizing the many shapes and sizes today’s families can take and, critically, providing coverage for chosen family members – an especially important protection for LGBTQ workers. And states have been continuing to lead the way by enacting inclusive paid leave laws, with Minnesota recently enacting both a statewide paid sick time law and paid family and medical leave program, and Maine anticipated to enact a paid family and medical leave program in the coming days.
Additionally, the new federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act will extend lifeline protections to pregnant, postpartum, and lactating workers in need of workplace accommodations to remain healthy and attached to the workforce. Both laws use gender neutral language, meaning that these protections will include trans folks.
Through our work, we know that supportive workplaces lay the foundation for a more equitable future. The movement for LGBTQ rights is inseparable from the movements for racial, gender, and economic justice, and we are proud to continue fighting for legislation that meets the needs of LGBTQ workers and their loved ones. This Pride Month, as we celebrate recent progress, we remain committed to working towards a future where all workers are supported and protected.