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The FAMILY Act: A Long Overdue Investment in Our Families

December 12, 2013
This blog post was originally published on A Better Balance Blog . When a family member is confronted with a serious illness, or when a new child is born or adopted, many American workers are forced to choose between their jobs and the well-being of their families. Even though most workers will experience the need to provide care to a loved one at some point in their lives, no federal law guarantees American workers paid leave to care for an ill loved one or to bond with a new child. Nevertheless, working families throughout the United States have reason to cheer this week. On Thursday,...
Jared Make's picture

Breastfeeding, Health and Work: Why We Need the FAMILY Act Now

December 12, 2013
Breastfeeding has significant health benefits for babies – from protecting them from illness to reducing the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Children who were breastfed are less likely to develop asthma or become obese. Breastfeeding is also associated with health benefits for women, including decreasing the risk of certain cancers. Families that breastfeed can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed until they are 6 months. Yet, even though 75% of women initially breastfeed...
Julia Parish's picture

Paid Leave Keeps Women in Their Jobs and That’s Good for the Economy #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
August marked the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); a groundbreaking law that has been used more than 100 million times, helping workers keep their jobs while they care for a family health crisis or a new baby. Unfortunately, because FMLA leave is generally unpaid and has eligibility restrictions, millions who qualify for it can’t afford to take it, and millions who’d like to benefit from it are excluded. Teresa Benns, from Del Norte, Colorado, is one of the fortunate ones who qualified for FMLA. As the primary caregiver for her husband, who is a...
Linda Meric's picture

Bridging the Gap: Bringing the Benefits of Paid Family Leave to American Workers #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
This blog post was crossposted from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research FemChat blog . In its founding year, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analyzed the costs to workers of not having unpaid leave for childbirth, personal health needs, or family caregiving in its inaugural publication, Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave . IWPR’s research showed that, by not recognizing the need for work-life balance, established policies not only failed to support workers and their families, but were costly to taxpayers. Now 20 years old, the...
Lindsey Reichlin's picture

The Ripple Effects of the FAMILY Act

December 12, 2013
This blog was crossposted from Family Values @ Work “Unintended consequences” – this is the term we hear all the time from lobbyists for mega corporations when they try to block new policies that would allow people to care for their loved ones and provide for them. “You’re well-intentioned,” they drone, “but you’ll bring about unintended consequences that will hurt the very people you want to help.” What they really mean is: “You’re on your own and we don’t really care what happens to you or your loved one.” We’ll hear plenty of these predictors of doom when Sen. Kristin Gillibrand and Rep...
Ellen Bravo's picture

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 Must be Expanded to Provide Paid Leave #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
Will the US join the rest of the modern world – and California, New Jersey and Rhode Island – by supporting, with real policies, family values? That’s the question that the proposed expansion of family and medical leave raises. The extension to the act, to be introduced into the US Congress in early October, proposes paid leave for mothers at the birth of a child and also provides for paid leave when a child must be out of school or daycare for medical reasons. This may sound radical – but it’s not. The US is the only one of the 38 countries, mostly wealthy but some not so wealthy, such as...
Bill Barclay's picture

My need for Family Leave #FAMILYAct

December 12, 2013
I blog to help share my story so others who have been through it know they aren't alone and to educate those who haven't been through it. This is a topic that not only affects caregivers but parents, children and entire families. I think it's important for everyone to understand how interconnected all of these issues are and how we need to work together to accomplish change. I have been asked to write about another topic by Caring Across Generations. Although, I’m a few days late. By the way, to explain…. Caring Across Generations brings together the aging community, people disabilities,...
Erin Hayes's picture

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

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