Ten Victories for Ten Years: Paid Family Leave

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In honor of our tenth anniversary, we’re celebrating ten important victories over the ten weeks leading up to our Spring Celebration on May 2nd.

ABB has been a key player in the fight to secure paid family leave in New York State, and, more broadly, in the movement to expand paid family leave around the country.  After ten years of persistent advocacy, New York finally enacted paid family leave on April 4, 2016. Not only will New York become the fourth state to guarantee some wage replacement to workers taking time off to deal with a family health crisis or bond with a new child, the law will provide up to 12 weeks, once fully phased in, of job-protected paid leave, making it the strongest program in the country.  A Better Balance helped to lead the campaign, working tirelessly to ensure we had the strongest bill possible, as well as educating the public and policymakers on the law, serving as legal experts to the campaign, organizing workers, collecting petition signatures, and rallying business leaders.

New York’s landmark legislation will benefit millions of New York families, but is also a giant step in our efforts to make paid family leave a reality for all Americans.  Our model paid family leave bill has served as the basis for proposed legislation in multiple states, and has drawn advocates and legislators from around the country seeking our help with in-depth support on bill drafting, legal strategy, and tactical advice. Our expertise was key in the passage of Rhode Island’s paid family leave law in 2013 and ABB has worked closely with advocates in Washington, D.C. to draft a robust paid family and medical leave proposal, submitted testimony on the Massachusetts paid family leave bill we helped to draft, and joined research teams in Minnesota and Connecticut exploring the best possible policy approaches to paid family leave in those states. Our work continues in states like Colorado and New Mexico as enthusiasm for enacting paid family leave spreads.  We hope that the explosion of interest in paid family leave in the states will pave the way to a Federal program covering all American workers like that proposed by Senator Gillibrand, the FAMILY Act.

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