As 2020 ushers in a new decade, it brings with it many changes to paid family and medical leave laws throughout the U.S.—a cause for celebration for workers and their families. Washington State’s paid family and medical leave program officially went live on January 1. Workers can now receive benefits for up to 12 weeks for medical leave or family leave, up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period. Nearly all employees in the state are covered, including both public and private sector workers, and self-employed workers can opt in to coverage.
Since 2015, we've worked closely with advocates and lawmakers to push for a comprehensive paid family & medical leave program in Tennessee. On Wednesday, we joined State Representative Gloria Johnson in Knoxville to announce the Tennessee Family Insurance Act, a bill to grant paid family and medical leave to all workers in the state. Under this proposal, employees would contribute a small amount each month to a paid family and medical leave insurance fund.
As the year comes to a close, we have many victories to celebrate! In just 2019, our work has had a major impact on millions of women, caregivers, and families.
Today marks the launch of Paid Leave for All: the largest-ever campaign to win an inclusive federal paid family and medical leave policy. We’re proud to be among the leaders of the Paid Leave for All collaborative—which includes dozens of state and national organizations—and fight for an inclusive paid family and medical leave policy that covers all working people and their families.
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.
The federal government is the nation’s largest employer—and its employees receive no paid family and medical leave. Congress currently has the opportunity to change that by passing the Federal Employees Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), which would bring paid leave to more than 2 million Americans.
This weekend, Oregon passed a robust and inclusive paid family & medical leave law, becoming the ninth state to do so nationwide. The law will provide up to 12 weeks of income to those who need to take time off work to recover from a serious health condition, care for a seriously ill loved one, or welcome a new child, with an additional two weeks of leave available for pregnancy-related complications.
Not only does structurally placing the burden of childcare on women hurt women’s careers and perpetuate the wage gap—policies like these deny men the opportunity to spend precious bonding time with their children early-on, and exclude single dads and LGBTQ dads entirely. We’re fighting to change that, state by state, by passing paid family & medical laws that include all caregivers and their loved ones.