October 28, 2021

Paid Family Leave in the Balance

If you’ve been anywhere near social media in the last month, you will have seen a New York Times graphic showing that the US remains one of only eight countries, and the only “rich” country, on Earth that has no mandatory paid family leave.

Sadly, conservative Democratic Senators continue to whittle away the President’s signature social spending plan, and paid family leave is heading for the chopping block, an incredible blow to families already struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the most recent news out of the capital, the initial proposal of 12 weeks of  paid family leave which had already been reduced to a mere four weeks is now being cut entirely. This is significantly less than the paid leave offered by nine states and the District of Columbia and would not cover the recovery time for most births.

Paid family leave advocates at A Better Balance released a press release stating in part: “We are sharply disappointed by the news that paid family and medical leave may be cut out of the “Build Back Better” package—a package touted as being aimed at helping American families recover from the care crisis brought on by the global pandemic. We cannot build back better—or build back at all—without a national paid family and medical leave program that supports all workers, especially women, who need time to care for a new child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious illness.”

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