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[Image description: Balloons & text: "FMLA is turning 25. But NC families can't afford to wait 25 more years for paid family & medical leave. Mark your calendars for a NC FMLA25 Facebook Live event on Feb. 20 at 8pm. Join us on FB @ NCFamiliesCare"]

BethM's picture

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A lot can change in twenty-five years. Kids grow up, parents grow older. Fashion, pop culture, and workplaces change. But what hasn’t changed is the need to be there for the people we love when they need us.

Twenty-five years ago today, the Family and Medical Leave Act passed Congress. Providing 12 weeks unpaid leave for eligible employees to welcome a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, or recover from a serious illness yourself, the FMLA broke new ground and has been used 200 million times since then to help workers be there when their families needed them.

 

But sadly, by providing only unpaid leave and strict eligibility guidelines, FMLA leaves out millions of people who need it. While the world and our families have changed, FMLA hasn’t. It’s long past time to fix that!

 

North Carolina lawmakers need to act to ensure that all our state’s workers can meet both their work and their family responsibilities. As we mark the 25th anniversary of FMLA’s passage, MomsRising and our partners are inviting lawmakers to learn more about what lack of access to paid family and medical leave means to families in our communities.

 

***We’re hosting a Facebook Live event February 20th featuring the real stories of families in our state. We need to encourage NC’s legislators to tune in! Can you send your lawmaker a note inviting them to join us and making sure they know NC families can’t afford to wait 25 more years for paid family and medical leave? Just click here to send a quick note now.

 

The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world without some form of paid family/medical leave. Over 177 countries already have some form of paid leave. It’s time for us to catch up.

 

The fact is FMLA is insufficient to meet the needs of modern families and our nation’s changing workforce. It doesn’t cover all working people and only provides those eligible with 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Millions of those eligible to use FMLA can’t because they are unable to afford unpaid time away from work, while only 15% of working people right now have access to paid family and medical leave through their employer.

 

In North Carolina, even unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act is inaccessible for 64 percent of working people, leaving North Carolinians with impossible choices between work and family responsibilities. This is the reality for far too many North Carolinians every single day.

Whether it’s to care for a newborn you swear already smiles, a mom who is severely ill, or a spouse battling cancer, being there for family is what matters. No one should permanently lose their job when urgent family matters arise.

 

North Carolina lawmakers need to hear their stories. Let’s make sure they do! Send a quick note to your lawmaker inviting them to join our FMLA 25 Facebook Live.

 

We hope you'll join us, too! Here are all the details:

What: A FMLA25 Facebook Live event featuring North Carolinians sharing their own stories of needing paid family and medical leave.

When: Tuesday, February 20 at 8:00 PM

Where: On Facebook on the NC Families Care page

 

It's important these stories are heard because it's time for real change. Working families need a paid family and medical leave policy that is more than just maternity and paternity leave. We need an insurance plan that provides a meaningful length of leave, is accessible to all working people, covers all families, and is affordable, cost-effective and sustainable for workers, employers, and taxpayers.

We need a program that has sustainable funding - like insurance-style programs that lift the financial burden off of individual businesses and can help keep people in the jobs they need.

 

Our state’s leaders need to hear exactly what not having these policies means for NC families. Can you make sure they do? Send them an invite to our Facebook Live right now!

 

Twenty-five years is a long time to wait. Together we can make sure another generation of families doesn’t grow up without the paid leave policies that help them be there when it matters.

 

Nearly everyone at some point needs to rearrange their lives to recover from their own serious illness, provide care for a loved one, or to care for a new or adopted child. You shouldn't have to give up a paycheck to do it. Lawmakers and decision-makers need to know just how important paid family leave is to American

Families.

What has your experience been? Share it here and we'll deliver it to lawmakers to help them understand why they need to give our leave laws a reboot!


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of MomsRising.org

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