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"Just days before I gave birth, my employer told me that he would not pay me for any of my maternity leave. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) did not apply because of the company size. 

"He made it clear that he did not have to save my job by law, but he'd do so as a favor. And he advised I should come back to work quickly because he didn't know how long he would wait. My salary was exactly half of the household income. And while we did have some overage that we put in savings, we could not survive on my husband's income alone. Not to mention, our health insurance at the time did not cover baby well visits or vaccines!  I did have 2 weeks’ vacation saved up. 

"So I asked my employer to allow me to use my vacation as maternity leave. He refused and stated my vacation was 'not approved.' In the end, I received no pay the entire leave. Thankfully, we did have some savings to tap into.  It was a horribly stressful time which should have been wonderful."  -Amy, a MomsRising member.

In the United States only 11 percent of employees have any kind of paid family leave.  No wonder having a baby is a leading cause of poverty spells in the United States.

It's time to double-down on our work to get paid family leave policies passed at the national and state level. Can you help and chip in $25? PFL fundraiser

There is reason to be optimistic that we can move paid family leave from the “wish list” to the “already have list” in the next few years: For the first time ever, the United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a budget bill that includes $5 million to help states develop paid leave programs by providing states with grant money to assist with the planning and start up of state paid leave programs.

And, just hours before the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to include the State Paid Leave Fund in their budget, Rhode Island became the third state to pass a paid family leave law, joining California and New Jersey.  Both New Jersey and California are seeing great results from these programs. A 2011 study of the California Paid Leave program showed that most employers found that Paid Family Leave had a positive effect on productivity, profitability/performance, turnover and employee morale.

Additional studies found that significant tax dollars were saved, and more moms were able to be back at work a year after the birth of their child, when moms were able to take paid family leave.  And, now, there is also a growing movement for a national paid family leave bill, which will be introduced in Congress in the coming months.

This is amazing news because it shows that there is serious MOMentum for paid family leave policies at the state and federal levels.

BUT we are far from the finish line. We need paid family leave for all workers. Chip in $25 for our campaign to win paid family leave for all workers by donating $25 now!

With your support we’re taking our campaign to the next level. Here’s how: It’s August and that means members of Congress are back in their districts and meeting with their constituents. That makes right now the perfect time to hand deliver personal stories, like Amy's, about the need for paid family leave directly to elected leaders.

We’re collecting and organizing stories, creating materials, setting up websites and pulling everything together, but it’s not cheap and we need your help.

Chip in and support our campaign? Your $25 contribution will get us closer to winning paid family leave!

Our in-person deliveries are just part of our overall campaign. Your support now also enables us to:

  • Organize more on-the-ground events both in DC and around the country to keep the pressure on Congress to pass paid family leave policies
  • Create and publish more storybooks that bring forward the voices of moms to elected leaders and to the media
  • Engage in strategic web advertising designed to directly reach policy makers and opinion leaders
  • Educate leaders and the media about the need for paid leave

It's time! Did you know that 2013 is the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?  The FMLA has been used an estimated more than 100 million times to offer unpaid, job protected leave to folks welcoming a new baby, taking care of a family member with a serious illness, or managing their own serious or chronic illnesses.

But far, far too families in the United States are ineligible to take FMLA and a significant portion of those who are eligible to take it, can’t afford to take it, because it’s unpaid.

FMLA is great, but it’s time to take the next step.

We need Congress to move forward and pass a budget that includes the State Paid Leave Fund so that other states will be able to create programs like the ones in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island.  And we also need Congress to start working for a national paid family leave bill to cover everyone.

And we need your help to make it happen.  Chip in $25 now and help us take our campaign for paid family leave to the next level.

Americans agree, ensuring you can care for your loved ones and not have to give up a paycheck to do it should be a national work place standard. The rest of the world agrees as over 177 other countries offer paid family leave for new moms.

There’s nothing more important than taking responsibility and caring for your family members. It’s well past time we honor our families and our nation by making paid time for prolonged illness, birth and adoption the law.

Help build the MOMentum! Please pitch in $25 now.

Thank you for all you do!

P.S. Are you fired up? Help grow the MOMentum for paid leave by signing up to deliver stories to your U.S. Senators’ local in-district office during the August recess. It’s an easy AND powerful way to make a big difference.

***We’ll give you everything you need!

P.P.S. Get the facts about the current, unpaid, FMLA. Check out this great guide from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

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