As momentum around the country continues to grow for paid family leave bills, the Department of Labor announced today the availability of $1 million to fund research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. In response to today’s announcement, Ellen Bravo, one of the foremost experts on paid leave and executive director of Family Values @ Work, released the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is the latest example of a strong commitment by the administration to ensure access to family and medical leave insurance to all Americans. These grants are key to helping millions more people know they can welcome a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, or take time to recover from a grave illness, without risking a paycheck or a job. Momentum around paid family and medical leave is stronger than ever, as a growing number of political leaders recognize how important this issue is for families and for the economy.
“Like Secretary Perez, we urge—and will keep fighting for—more states to take up paid family leave legislation. The wins to date will provide access to more than 25 million people as they build the evidence for a national policy, something that is imperative to make sure affordable leave is available to all new mothers and fathers and all of those who need to care for themselves or a seriously ill loved one. We applaud the states that are leading the way, including New York, which recently became the country’s fourth state to pass a paid family leave program. With bills also moving in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Washington, DC, the momentum for paid leave is steadily growing, laying the foundation for passage of a federal paid family and medical insurance program—the FAMILY Act.”
Family Values @ Work is a network of coalitions in 21 states working to pass policies that value families at work such as paid sick days and affordable family leave.