A measure to guarantee paid parental leave to federal employees has been included in the final National Defense Authorization Act and is expected to pass in both chambers—a huge victory for our nation's 2 million public servants 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.
When workers must forego wages to attend to family caregiving responsibilities or otherwise struggle with juggling caregiving and work, it can result in lasting economic consequences. So this National Family Caregivers Month, let’s demand we support family caregivers and treat their role with the value it deserves!
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.
On August 26th, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day—a day commemorating the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote in 1920. This victory, it’s important to note, was not realized for all women until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when people of color were explicitly given the right to vote (a right that is still elusive for many today).
The report’s data on men’s usage of paid family leave is another key indicator of the program’s success: nearly a third of those who took bonding leave were men. These findings coincide with the release of our new resource: Your Paid Family Leave Rights: A Guide for Dads and Male Caregivers in New York State.
Advocates in Georgia passed four local nondiscrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ individuals, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law by referendum, and six more states have passed laws prohibiting the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. We were also excited to celebrate our role in passage of several new LGBTQ-inclusive paid leave laws and victories upholding local LGBTQ rights laws.
Over the weekend, The New York Times published a powerful article featuring our client in Tennessee, Theresa Gonzales. Theresa, an admissions counselor and the sole breadwinner of her family who was about to become a first-time mother, told her employer, South College, she hoped to take six weeks of unpaid leave then return to her job. Instead, she was fired just days after giving birth because of a discriminatory policy only allowing a maximum of five days off from work. As we told the Times, Theresa’s story is outrageously common.
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.