There’s been a delay. And I’m not talking about the Metro!
The DC Council has decided to wait until September to take action on DC paid leave. After all you have done to make paid leave a reality in the District, this delay is disappointing, but it’s up to us to make sure that the DC Universal Paid Leave Act is the Council’s top priority when they reconvene in the fall!
Why is it so important that paid family and medical leave passes in DC? Here are just a few reasons:
- DC has the highest infant mortality rate of all capital cities in the developed world. Studies show that paid leave reduces infant mortality rates.
- Thousands of DC families are living paycheck-to-paycheck and not having access to paid family and medical leave means that when a new baby arrives or a serious illness strikes, their economic security is in great danger. In fact, nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency, let alone an emergency on top of missed paychecks.
- 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime – and that’s just one disease. Everyone facing a life-threatening disease deserves to be able to take paid medical leave when they are receiving treatment.
- Mental health is as real of a health concern as anything else. 1 in 7 women experiences postpartum depression in the year after they give birth. Some new moms need access to paid family and medical leave to treat mental illness and longer maternity leave reduces the risk of developing postpartum depression. This is why we need 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave!
It’s clear that DC can’t afford to wait any longer for paid family and medical leave! The Council might be going on a break, but our paid leave advocacy isn’t. We won’t be deterred by the delay!
** Urge your Councilmembers to take swift action on DC paid leave as soon as their new legislative session begins in the fall! **
The good news is that Chairman Mendelson and the paid leave bill’s lead sponsors will continue refining the legislation this summer. And we won’t keep quiet – families and business owners across DC will continue to push the Council to lead on leave.
Together, we are a powerful force for women and families in DC.