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Namatie Mansaray's picture

Thirty years ago, the *unpaid* Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law, and while FMLA is great if you’re covered and if you can afford unpaid leave- it’s not good enough. Three decades is far too long to wait for the promise of paid leave for every worker just like every other industrialized nation already has.

 Tell your members of Congress: Let’s go far and beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act by passing Paid Family and Medical Leave NOW!

30 years ago, leaders and advocates fought to get the FMLA across the finish line. And today, our congressional champions and the Biden-Harris Administration are still in the fight to pass paid family and medical leave for every worker. So far, 13 states and the District of Columbia have prioritized working families by passing paid family and medical leave laws– and we applaud the White House for continuing to emphatically support a national paid family and medical leave program for families across the country! [1]

Only 6 nations in the entire world don’t have this critical policy in place; and the US is one of them. It’s past time to catch up. 

You might be saying to yourself, I’ve heard this before, but I’m here to tell you that we are all on the same page. The White House’s recent memo on the State Legislative Convening on Paid Leave proves that they are committed to advancing paid family and medical leave throughout the country [2], and we’re going to keep the pressure on, until they do! Furthermore, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions to advance women’s economic security by issuing a Presidential Memorandum “encouraging heads of Federal agencies to provide access to leave for Federal employees when they need it, including during their first year of service,” and ensuring those in the military have access to 12 weeks of paid parental leave. 

In addition, the Office of Personnel Management is directed to provide recommendations regarding safe leave; supporting federal employees access to paid and unpaid leave for reasons related to seeking safety and recovering from domestic violence, sexual violence or dating violence, sexual assault or stalking. Any of which could include obtaining medical treatment, assistance from organizations that provide services to survivors, relocation and taking related legal action. [3] 

And on top of that, during the State of the Union Address, President Biden powerfully reiterated his administration’s pledge to, “make sure working families can afford to raise their families with access to sick days and paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care that will enable millions more people to go to work.” All of these executive actions around paid leave are a big deal. It matters that the White House is using their bully pulpit to lift up the need to win paid leave for all - we need to build on this momentum and push Congress to act. 

 Tell your members of Congress: Let’s go far and beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act by passing Paid Family and Medical Leave NOW!

Leaders and advocates have been in this fight for 30 years plus and you know why? Because of people like you, and families like yours and mine who are in need of policies that work for them, ones that will allow them to maintain their jobs while addressing their caregiving responsibilities. We’ve been fighting hard to win legislative change like paid family and medical leave to help our families achieve economic security by keeping employees, especially women whose labor force participation has decreased dramatically, in part due to caregiving responsibilities, attached to the workforce. Moms and families continue to face impossible choices; caring for their loved ones or a paycheck-it doesn’t have to be this way. There is broad and undeniable support from workers and small businesses that paid family and medical leave is beneficial and desperately needed. 

But it has been 30 years, Congress needs to go beyond FMLA by finally passing comprehensive paid family and medical leave for every worker! 

Everyone deserves time to care; time to care for a new child, time to recover and heal from childbirth, time to care for our own serious health condition or that of our loved ones, our families and our chosen families! We need Congress to invest in us and invest in our families by passing comprehensive paid leave. We all deserve paid family and medical leave.

 Tell your members of Congress: Let’s go far and beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act by passing Paid Family and Medical Leave NOW!

So, happy 30th anniversary to the FMLA - now let’s get *paid* leave across the finish line so we have even more to celebrate next year! 

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