(New York, N.Y.) The following is a statement from A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Sherry Leiwant:
“Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a bold commitment to include historic paid family and medical leave provisions in the House version of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. This is a key recognition of the critical importance of paid leave for our nation’s recovery and for every family across the country.
We cannot build back better—or build back at all—without a national paid family and medical leave program that supports all workers, especially women, who need time to care for a new child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious illness. This program would do just that, with four weeks of universal paid leave that would guarantee all workers time with a new child and to care for themselves or their closest loved ones when seriously ill. These are such important moments in all of our lives. Ensuring that workers have that time without needing to sacrifice their economic security should be a priority for this country as it is for almost every other country in the world.
Paid leave is especially urgent for low-wage workers and women of color, who are least likely to have any time off. At A Better Balance, we hear from such workers every day through our free legal helpline. For those who have access thanks to a state program, paid leave has truly been a lifeline, and for those who do not, no paid leave often means coming back to work days after giving birth or being unable to be with a dying loved one—devastating sacrifices made because of the need for basic income.
We want to express our deepest gratitude to Speaker Pelosi, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal, Representative Rosa DeLauro, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for their fierce championing of a paid leave program that will exclude no worker or family. The battle has been harder than it should have been and we will continue to fight alongside our champions to ensure that all American families have the paid leave they deserve.”