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Paid Family & Medical Leave
Ruth Martin's picture

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Nothing should keep you from caring for a loved one battling cancer, being with a parent nearing their final days, or bonding with a new baby. But that is exactly the case for far too many U.S. workers because our leave laws are out of date and haven’t evolved to meet the needs of working families or our global economy. The good news is that there is growing momentum in support of paid family and medical leave insurance.


Recently, MomsRising teamed up with Lake Research Partners to conduct six in-person dyads and seven in-person focus groups across the country in November and December of 2017 among members of the public with a goal of exploring how various constituencies including independents, Republican-leaning people, as well as women of color, millennial parents, and sandwich generation caregivers view paid family and medical leave. We specifically wanted to explore how voters felt about a national paid family and medical leave insurance program that covers the full range of caregiving needs including the arrival of a new child as well as a person’s own serious medical illness or that of a loved one.


→ You can download a pdf of the key findings of that research here:


The key findings add up to show that support for paid family and medical leave remains very high (as has been shown in previous research including recently by the Pew Research Center) and opportunities also exist to further strengthen the public support of  paid family and medical leave insurance programs.


This is good news because paid leave is long overdue in this country – right now, only 15 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid leave through their employers. We are the only industrialized nation without this key policy in place. This is outrageous. We know that paid family and medical leave is beneficial not just to workers and families, but also to businesses and our economy. Paid leave improves worker retention, decreases turnover, and boosts employee morale and productivity. That’s why we’ve seen so many more businesses implementing their own paid leave policies in the last several years. But we need a national standard – one that reflects the many dimensions of our families and lives and is accessible, affordable, and inclusive of everyone.


MomsRising won’t stop working until everyone has access to paid family and medical leave--and we look forward to the day when this program is a national social insurance program that lifts businesses and families alike.



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