Moms Group Calls on Congress to Pass the FAMILY Act Now
February 7, 2017
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and executive director of MomsRising, an online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families
“It’s time – past time – to make paid leave a reality for all workers in this country. Whether it’s to care for a newborn you swear already smiles, a mom who is ill, or a spouse battling cancer, being there for family is what matters. You shouldn’t have to give up your paycheck, or risk losing your job, to do so.
“But in our country today, too many people do. Only 14 percent of workers – and only 5 percent of low-wage workers – have access to paid leave through their employers. We need a comprehensive paid leave bill that benefits all workers. That’s why we commend Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) for reintroducing the FAMILY (Family and Medical Insurance Leave) Act, and for championing it again this year.
“The FAMILY Act would help millions of families across the country by establishing a national insurance program that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Details matter. Moms know this. Dads know this. Caregivers know this – and we need a national paid family and medical leave policy that reflects the many dimensions of our families and lives, is accessible, affordable, inclusive and has a meaningful amount of leave. We need the FAMILY Act.
“It would help MomsRising members like MacKenzie Nicholson of Dover, New Hampshire, whose mother was recently hospitalized to have a brain tumor removed. This happened while MacKenzie was more than six months pregnant and trying to save up her vacation and sick time to use as maternity leave. Instead, she was forced to use vacation time to care for her mom, cutting into what would have been her maternity leave. MacKenzie warns that, without paid family and medical leave, many folks in her generation will be forced to leave the workforce or face financial strain while they care for their parents and/or children.
“The FAMILY Act is the right solution – a win-win-win. It’s good for families, it’s good for businesses, and it’s good for our national economy. Congress should move quickly to pass it!”