“We Cannot Pass on this Opportunity to Protect Our Workforce and Fortify Our Economy.”
Washington, DC — Paid Leave for All Director Dawn Huckelbridge and Supermajority Executive Director Amanda Brown Lierman co-authored an op-ed published in Marie Claire yesterday, calling for the passage of a national paid leave policy in forthcoming infrastructure and recovery legislation. The piece highlights the historic opportunity to finally pass comprehensive, inclusive paid leave, and its importance to an equitable economic recovery.
From the op-ed focused on the need for an inclusive, national paid leave policy and the women who have left their jobs during the pandemic, as the result of a vacuum of paid leave:
“Our profound failure to support them has forced women out of the workforce in droves. And when 5.3 million women’s jobs disappeared over the last year, that didn’t just hurt women—it impacted men, families, entire communities, and the economy. Families collectively lose $22.5 billion each year because of a lack of paid leave, and that was before the pandemic.
This unprecedented crisis has created the urgency we need and a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Congress to finally pass comprehensive paid leave for all.
The voters agree. Paid Leave for All found last year that 85 percent of voters in Senate battleground states supported paid leave, and 86 percent of voters in frontline congressional districts did too. Two-thirds of small business owners also want a national paid leave plan. Research done recently with TIME’S UP and Caring Across Generations showed that over 90 percent of voters support paid sick, family, and medical leave in a comprehensive plan to help families.
It’s also good for the economy. Paid leave and caregiving policies have the potential to help the economy grow at least 5 percent by bringing women’s labor force participation rates up to levels seen in other countries. McKinsey researchers recently found that taking action before the end of the pandemic to enact policies that advance gender equality could add $2.4 trillion to our GDP.
We cannot pass on this opportunity to protect our workforce and fortify our economy.
Because, no, paid leave is not a “women’s issue.”
Paid leave is an economic issue. Paid leave is a jobs and infrastructure issue. Paid leave is a racial justice issue. Paid leave is a small business issue and a military families issue. Paid leave is a rural issue and an urban issue. Paid leave is, at its core, an issue that affects everyone, everywhere. We can and must pass paid leave for all.
The Paid Leave for All campaign is a growing collaborative of organizations fighting for paid family and medical leave for all working people.