February 5th marks the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The FMLA provides job-protected, unpaid time off for millions of American workers to care for themselves and their families, and has been used over 200 million times since its enactment. Passage of the law was an incredibly important first step, but 40 percent of workers are excluded from the FMLA’s protections. Many more cannot afford to take the unpaid leave it offers. Nearly three decades later, it’s time for the next step: paid leave for all U.S. workers.
The U.S. is facing a maternal and infant health crisis—one that is disproportionately impacting Black women and women of color—as highlighted in a recent Congressional hearing. Although this problem and its solutions are multifaceted, one key piece to addressing this crisis is the need to ensure our workplaces are safe and supportive environments for pregnant workers and mothers. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many pregnant workers and new mothers are forced to risk their health at work—especially those women in low-wage and physically demanding jobs, who are largely women of color.
On January 28, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on legislative proposals for paid family and medical leave, helmed by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a champion of The FAMILY Act. The FAMILY Act would guarantee U.S. workers 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to welcome a new child, care for a family member with a serious illness or disability, attend to their own serious medical needs, or deal with a loved one’s deployment. The hearing represents a historic step forward for this critical legislation!
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.
Policies that support working women and families are often not only a matter of economic justice, but also an urgent matter of public health. On National Women’s Health Day, here are four federal policies we must pass to ensure the health of working women and their families.
While federal progress has stalled since the FMLA, states and cities have come up with innovative policies for filling in the gaps that persist. And we won’t stop fighting until all workers have a real right to the leave they need when they need it the most.
The record-breaking wave of women running for office this election season and the soaring voter turnout made a difference. Last night's election results indicate many opportunities and of course some ongoing challenges to advancing the rights of women and all caregivers across the country.
Senator Marco Rubio filed a new bill today that would provide parental leave benefits by cutting Social Security. ABB rejects the false choice between the time to care for ourselves and our families and a secure retirement.
Today, we launched Constructing 21st Century Rights For A Changing Workforce, a new series of policy briefs analyzing key issues in covering non-standard and precarious workers under paid leave laws. The first brief focuses on how paid family and medical leave laws can cover self-employed workers like freelancers and independent contractors.
Cross posted from the Huffington Post. By Dina Bakst Twenty-four years ago this week, then-President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—the nation’s first and only law…