November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to honor all caregivers who provide care to those close to them and to recognize the policy solutions needed to support them in doing this vital work.
At some point in all of our lives, it is likely that we will experience the need to care for a loved one, or to receive care ourselves. We know that access to paid family and medical leave is critical to ensuring caregivers can be there for their loved ones without sacrificing their economic security. At A Better Balance, we are advocating for paid leave for all by continuing to pass new state-level programs and urging Congress to pass the federal FAMILY Act.
We also know that families come in all shapes and sizes, and that people can provide care for a variety of different loved ones who are close to them, including parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family, and chosen family. It is critical that our local, state, and federal paid leave laws recognize all different family bonds and caregivers, so that workers can provide care to all of their closest loved ones, regardless of legal or biological ties, in times of need. For young adults in particular, access to paid leave to care for not only their own health, but also their loved ones, is a critical measure in helping the workers of today and tomorrow balance their caregiving needs with their financial health, attachment to the workforce, and professional development.
In addition to fighting for paid family and medical leave for all, we are also pushing for policies like paid sick time, access to fair and flexible scheduling, and measures against caregiver discrimination, so that caregivers can be supported holistically in the workplace.
This National Family Caregivers Month, we are grateful for the labor of all who provide care to their loved ones, and remain dedicated to fighting for the supportive work-family protections they need.