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Business Leaders Across the Country Agree Paid Leave is Critical to Equitable Economic Recovery



Washington, DC — Businesses leaders across the country are joining the growing chorus of voices calling for the passage of a permanent, national paid leave policy. In recent weeks, more than 200 businesses and 300 business and management school faculty members have called on the Biden Administration and Congress to commit to including paid family and medical leave in the forthcoming infrastructure package.

Business leaders recognize that investing in a comprehensive, inclusive paid leave policy is good for business and a necessary component of an equitable economic recovery. Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh shared an opinion piece in CNN Business last month, urging Congress to pass national paid leave in the next recovery package: “Establishing national paid family leave is a critical element of how we can build back better.” He also notes that Levi Strauss’ own paid leave policy cost just 10% of what they’d projected, and that a majority of companies surveyed instituted paid leave without added costs or negative impacts.

Yesterday Sun Life President Dan Fishbein penned an op-ed in The Telegram & Gazette yesterday, emphasizing that every American worker should have access to paid family and medical leave:

The pandemic made it obvious that every person in this country needs paid family and medical leave (PFML). That need will not disappear when the pandemic ends. Being able to take that precious time to heal or care for loved ones without the added stress of job loss or financial strain reflects the values we all have.

Recent reports from the White House have indicated that President Biden intends to include paid leave in the second round of his recently proposed infrastructure package. Nearly 100 members of Congress have signed a letter calling for paid leave.

More than 400 organizations just signed a full-page ad in the Washington Post making the case for PFML. Even the president’s proclamation on Equal Pay Day made it clear: “We must also provide paid family and medical leave.”

Massachusetts has long been a beacon of change for the rest of the country. MassHealth set the stage for the Affordable Care Act, we were the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and we are one of a few states that ensure residents have PFML coverage.

As the leader of an employee benefits company that provides paid leave to our employees and also helps employers build and administer their own programs, I have one thing to say to our leaders in Washington: It’s time. Every American should have paid leave. It is good for employees and business, and frankly, it’s simply the right thing to do.

Read the full op-ed here.

The positive effects of a public paid leave program to help smaller businesses with fewer than 100 workers manage employee leaves was also confirmed this week in a study of New York businesses published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and conducted by Columbia University Business School professor Ann Bartel with colleagues from Stanford University School of Medicine, Columbia University School of Social Work and the University of Virginia.


The Paid Leave for All campaign is a growing collaborative of organizations fighting for paid family and medical leave for all working people.