Victory for Massachusetts Moms, Families, Businesses and Economy
“With yesterday’s vote in the state legislature, Massachusetts moved one step closer to strengthening families and making the state’s economy more competitive by adopting a paid family and medical leave program. Whether taking time off time to care for a new child or a sick family member, being there for families is what matters. Yet too many Massachusetts workers are forced to make the impossible decision between earning a paycheck and caring for a loved one or recovering from illness or injury themselves. The legislature has done its part and we now urge Governor Charlie Baker to sign the paid family and medical leave bill as soon as possible.
“MomsRising members in Massachusetts worked tirelessly over many years to make this victory possible, sharing personal stories, reaching out to their lawmakers by phone and email, joining regional meetings, and participating in lobby days on Beacon Hill – all to advance paid leave for Massachusetts families. We also helped create critical bipartisan MOMentum for this essential program.
“Massachusetts MomsRising members applaud every state senator and state representative who voted to strengthen families and the state’s economy by adopting paid leave. The comprehensive paid leave program they passed will take effect on January 1, 2019, when workers will be able to access 12 weeks of job-protected family leave and 20 weeks of job-protected medical leave, with wage replacement of up to $850 per week. The program is funded by both workers and employers and its definition of ’family’ includes spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, parents-in-law, in loco parentis, grandchildren, grandparents and siblings. It will help take strain off business as well as families.
“The passage of this bill also builds momentum for urgently needed national legislation. Paid leave is long overdue in this country – right now, only 15 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid leave through their employers and many working people who are eligible to use leave provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act don’t do so because they can’t afford to take unpaid time away from work. We are the only industrialized nation without this key policy in place. In addition to progress in the states, we need a national standard – one that is accessible, affordable and inclusive. Ultimately we need Congress to pass the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would create a social insurance fund that benefits all workers in this country.”