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Making Work Work: We Need Paid Family and Medical Leave #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
This post originally appeared on the AAUW website . Since the Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law in 1993 , its job-protected leave has been used more than 100 million times to help employees recover from their own major medical situations or to care for loved ones. Because so many Americans work and are also caregivers — for children and spouses but also for aging parents and grandparents — family and medical leave is key to employees’ success in the workplace. That’s why AAUW has long called for a federal paid family and medical leave program and supports this week’s...
Anne Hedgepeth's picture

Paid Family Leave Benefits All Families #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
Note: This blog is also set to appear with permission on MomsRising As a California working mother, I join parents and caregivers across the country in applauding the introduction of the FAMILY Act today. As part of an advocacy community that helped pass California’s Paid Family Leave law, I know this is a turning point for low-income workers and their families in this country. Taking time off to bond with a new baby or care for a loved one should not be the privilege of the few. Children and families thrive when a parent and caregivers can be there for them and this benefits everyone. The...
Jenya Cassidy's picture

Paid Family Medical Leave Shouldn't Be A Luxury #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
Twenty years ago, Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), mandating that certain employees receive job-protected unpaid leave to care for an immediate family member, a newborn, or a newly adopted child. Signing the law on February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton said, “Family and medical leave is a matter of pure common sense and a matter of common decency. It will provide Americans what they need most: peace of mind. Never again will parents have to fear losing their jobs because of their families.” He was right – to an extent. No one should lose a job because of a medical...
Gaylynn Burroughs's picture

Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Law Would Help Employers Do Good and Do Well #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
When fast food workers bravely took to the streets in September to protest the unlivable wages that many earn, the media shone a spotlight on the exploitative and unsustainable practices of some large employers. But while these unscrupulous businesses deserve all the attention they are getting, they don’t represent the majority of business owners. In fact, many workers are lucky enough to work for businesses that truly care about them—businesses that know the value of their employees and want to do what’s right for them, including ensuring access to paid leave. As Rob Everts , co-executive...
Liz Ben-Ishai's picture

Take It From Moms: America’s Families Need the FAMILY Act

December 12, 2013
Stephanie was the sole breadwinner for her family when her twins were born three months early and had to be hospitalized. The Wisconsin mother did not have access to paid family leave through her employer, and she couldn’t afford to lose any income by taking unpaid leave. So she went back to work right away, commuting two hours each weekday for two months so she could spend nights at the hospital. When her mother was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, Theresa from New York had accrued some paid leave, which she used to travel to South Carolina to support her mother and take her to doctor’s...
Debra Ness's picture

Introducing the #FAMILYAct: A MomsRising Blog Carnival

December 12, 2013
At MomsRising, we hear from our members every day about how lack of access to paid family leave (including maternity and paternity leave) has created economic instability for their families. But it’s not surprising that we hear from so many people: In the U.S., only 12 percent of workers have access to paid family leave. This is despite the fact that study after study has shown the many benefits of paid family leave to families, to tax payers, to businesses, and to the economy. That is why we are so excited that the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act (the FAMILY Act) will be introduced in...
Kristin's picture

Women Who Code – Why Including Motherhood in STEM Discussions Matters

December 12, 2013
With millions of students taking part in “Hour of Code,” a campaign supported by technology companies as part of National Computer Science Week , there is a lot of internet chatter about the importance of high-tech skills in an innovation economy. By late Tuesday, more than 60 percent of the students who had taken one of the intro coding tutorials were girls. This came as a surprise to the organizers of the campaign – particularly since there has been a lot of talk recently about the importance of encouraging girls to learn to code – and about the current dearth of women in computer science...
Shay Chan Hodges's picture

The FAMILY Act - Stitching Up a Hole in the Safety Net

December 10, 2013
I will be strapping on my snow boots and slogging up the Hill later this week to see star legislators Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Rosa DeLauro introduce a bill that would provide most workers with 12 weeks of partially paid leave for a birth, adoption, or to deal with their own or a family member's serious medical condition. This is a BIG deal, for a number of reasons, available here from the National Partnership for Women & Families . Which one is the most important to you? 1. The U.S. is the lone hold out of all industrial nations (and most of the world) in not having...
Valerie Young's picture

Generation Zero—Why Millennials, And All of Us, Need Family-Friendly Laws

November 26, 2013
A survey of recent University of Pennsylvania Wharton School graduates reveals that many young adults are planning to solve the work/family crunch by removing family from the equation. Only 42% of the undergraduate class of 2012 plans to have children, compared to 78% of the class of 1992, according to research by Stewart Friedman, author of the new book, “Baby Bust.” Of course, this is only one privileged subset of the population. However, the overall American birthrate has recently declined as well to below the replacement rate (although it now appears to be stabilizing). Friedman reports...
Elizabeth Gedmark's picture

Bringing Dads to the Table…and the Home

November 20, 2013
Cross-posted from A Better Balance's Blog. At first, Josh Levs thought his employer’s policy on paid family leave was a simple mistake. His company, Time Warner, offers new mothers ten weeks of paid time off after giving birth. Women and men who have children through adoption or surrogacy also receive ten weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child. Biological fathers, on the other hand, only receive two weeks of paid leave. When Levs pointed out this discrepancy to his supervisor before the birth of his daughter, he realized that it was not an oversight at all. His boss refused to give him...
Liz Reiner Platt's picture

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