MomsRising Executive Director Testifies in Support of Washington State Paid Leave Bill
February 6, 2007
Olympia, WA – Calling it a “national embarrassment” that the United States doesn’t have a paid family leave law, MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner today urged the Washington State legislature to pass the Family and Medical Leave Insurance bill, HB 1658. The bill would create a family and medical leave insurance program that would pay benefits weekly to employees who take time off from work to bond with a newborn or newly placed child, care for seriously ill family members or recover from their own serious health condition. Rowe-Finkbeiner testified before the House Commerce and Labor Committee.
According to a study released earlier this month by Harvard and McGill Universities, 2007 Work, Family, and Equity Index: How Does the U.S. Measure Up?, the U.S. lags far behind most other countries on workplace policies that support families. Of 173 countries in the study, 168 guarantee paid maternal leave; only the U.S., Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea do not. Nor is the United States among the 65 countries that grant fathers either paid paternity leave or paid parental leave.
MomsRising is an online grassroots organization that is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, excellent childcare and healthcare for all children, and to stop the wage and hiring biases that penalize so many mothers today. MomsRising, has more than 80,000 members across the United States and approximately 6,000 in Washington State.