We need paid family/medical leave in the Build Back Better Act. There are only 6 days left in the Congressional calendar before the Senate leaves town for the year. They must get this done now.
The breaking news over the last few days about the Omicron COVID-19 variant makes it plain that paid family and medical leave is a necessity. While there is no cause for panic as we wait to learn more about Omicron’s transmissibility and how vaccines may respond to it, it’s evident that providing working families with 4 weeks of paid family and medical leave would go a long way towards lifting families, businesses and the economy -- and, importantly, helping to stop the spread of harmful and contagious viruses like COVID. In fact, a recent study confirmed that paid leave was instrumental in “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 transmissions, resulting in 400 fewer cases of the virus per day in states where workers had access to paid sick leave.  Paid leave and paid sick leave are necessary public health tools that have been shown to help curb COVID-19 rates.
Paid leave isn’t just good for public health and our families, it boosts our economy and will help fight inflation. Paid family and medical leave keeps workers attached to the workforce which helps people deal with rising costs and increases the labor force.
It helps moms and women who have been forced out of the workforce after a new child or medical crisis. Paid family and medical leave would allow working people to care for themselves if a serious health crisis strikes or for their family members in a critical health emergency AND maintain their financial security. A national paid family and medical leave program would also help small businesses with covering the cost while employees are out; and with retention, reduce turnover and could lead to higher employee morale and productivity. 
The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not offer a mandated paid family and medical leave policy. This is unacceptable and detrimental to the millions of families who have been hard hit by the pandemic. Less than one in four workers have access to paid family leave and only eight in 10 workers have access to paid sick leave through their employer.  This must change.
*Appeal to Congress and ask the Senate to quickly pass paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better Act this year!
It’s clear: When an unexpected health emergency arises, working families need to be able to take paid time off to provide care to their families or to address their own serious health issues. This is a fact the pandemic has made more than obvious. Passage of the Build Back Better Act with the inclusion of paid leave by members of the U.S. House was the first step towards providing working families with much needed assistance but now our working families; small businesses and the economy need the Senate to do their job and pass the Build Back Better Act as soon as possible. There is no time to wait, families cannot afford to wait when relief is needed right now.
The evidence is crystal clear, there is broad support for policies like paid family and medical leave in the Build Back Better Act from Republican and Democratic voters alike. A recent survey confirms that in key states, likely 2022 voters continue to strongly demand that Congress passes paid family and medical leave. These voters maintain that the passage of paid leave will lead to an improved economy and it will help address labor shortages. 
Voters, working families, and small businesses all strongly support paid family and medical leave.
If we want to ensure women and moms can stay in the workforce, if we want to boost the economy, if we want to protect the health and livelihood of families, if we want to work towards racial equity in our systems of care, then we must demand that our Senators act now to pass the Build Back Better Act with paid family and medical leave.
*Please take a moment to post this action link on your social media networks like Facebook and Twitter; and to share with friends and family too. The more of us who take action, the more powerful we are together.
Thanks for upholding paid family and medical leave,
- Namatie, Ruth, Kristin, and the whole MomsRising.org/MamásConPoder Team
P.S.– Personal experiences are powerful and can make a HUGE difference in helping elected leaders understand how public policies impact families so they can move change. We want to hear more from YOU! Can you take a second and follow the link below to share your personal story about how having, or NOT having, access to job-protected paid leave has impacted your family in the pandemic?