“Including paid leave in the end-of-the-year relief package should be a no-brainer for Congress. Families First Coronavirus Relief Act emergency leave benefits have been a huge and indisputable win for the country. They are linked to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 by as much as 400 reported cases per day where people are able to use the leave. Failure to extend this benefit would mean that 31 million parents lose access to paid child care leave at the same time the virus is surging and many schools are operating virtually. It would mean that 12.4 million parents of color -- including 2.9 million Black parents, 6.8 million Latinx parents, and 1.9 million Asian parents -- lose access to paid leave, further stressing communities of color, which have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
“The cost of extending paid leave is small and manageable, especially when considering the enormous benefit. The Joint Committee on Taxation found that extending the emergency paid leave benefits would cost about $1.8 billion for three months; That’s a fraction of what the Congressional Budget Office projected ($10 billion for the original benefit).
“America’s moms want Congress to extend family and medical leave and earned sick days through 2021 and close loopholes in the earlier bill that left out more than 100 million working people. We also need a meaningful extension and boost to unemployment insurance; funding to stabilize and support the child care industry; the inclusion of immigrant families in programs they need to make ends meet; and an extension of the eviction moratorium, which is all that is standing between millions of families and homelessness.
“The crisis we face right now is grave and relentless, and the health and economic toll it is taking is staggering. At this moment, Congress must step up by extending and expanding the paid leave America’s moms and families need.”
-Statement of Ruth Martin, senior vice president and chief workplace justice officer, MomsRising
“America’s moms are asking why? Why would Congress even consider passing an emergency pandemic relief bill that fails to extend paid leave past the end of the calendar year, when it’s clear the pandemic will be surging for much longer? Why would Congress make it harder for families to quarantine if they test positive, stay home if they have symptoms, and avoid financial catastrophe if COVID-19 strikes? Why would Congress exclude a provision that is working well, costing little, and is supported by business owners and working people alike?
“There is no good answer. With coronavirus cases surging across the country and our overwhelmed health care system at risk of collapse, any relief package Congress considers and passes must contain the spread of contagion, stabilize families financially, support our struggling economy, and help businesses retain employees and maintain healthy workplaces. We urge Senate and House leaders to extend and expand the emergency paid leave Congress wisely passed in the spring in the end-of-the year emergency relief bill. Failure to do so would unnecessarily put millions of families at risk.”
-Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO, MomsRising