We know families and the nation are strongest when we have time to heal from illness or injury, to welcome a new child, to help a loved one recover or ease their passing. Yet the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world without a national paid leave policy, which meant that when the pandemic hit, we were unprepared. We all have a stake in ensuring people do not spread illness when they are sick and recovering, that no one ever has to choose between their family and their paycheck. We need a sustainable paid leave policy in place so that families and businesses are never scrambling for piecemeal solutions when illness strikes, a serious caregiving need arises, or a new child is born or adopted.
Only 21 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through an employer and only 40 percent have access to short-term disability insurance. Nearly one in four employed mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth and one in five retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned to care for an ill family member. Our current laws aren’t keeping up with the needs of our families or a 21st century economy.
But now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change that. And we know that with other care policies, passing paid leave would yield millions of jobs, billions in wages, and trillions in wages. A supermajority of voters across the political spectrum support a national paid family and medical leave policy that covers all working people. Two-thirds of small business owners agree. Joining them are health professionals, large employers, military families, and advocates across the country who say it’s time for paid leave for all.
Paid Leave for All provides the strategy and coordinated effort to turn this urgent need into political reality.
This campaign leverages our groups’ policy expertise and research, partnerships and grassroots memberships in the field, and our storytellers and communications tools to drive a win and enact a comprehensive and inclusive federal paid family and medical leave program by 2023.