The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, introduced today by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), will "grant families access to the paid leave they so desperately need" and "improve job security for all families who have to choose between caring for a family member and a paycheck at times of greatest stress," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a statement. Trumka says:
This bill will strengthen America’s workers and economy by providing income stability for all families.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12 percent of workers in the United States currently have access to paid family leave through their employers. Without pay, most workers simply cannot afford to take off the time they need. For a nation built on family values, this is unacceptable.
The FAMILY Act will be especially important to young workers, part-time and low-wage workers, regardless of their employer’s size or their duration on the job. And the FAMILY Act will be a win for employers as well, because it will lower employee turnover rates and increase productivity, if passed.
The labor movement urges Congress to invest in our families, our economy and our country’s future by giving individuals a chance to take care of important family matters without risk of losing their jobs. A bill that is good for working families is a bill that is good for everyone.
Currently the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides many workers with 12 weeks of unpaid leave to recover from a serious illness or care for a new child or seriously ill family member. But only 12% of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through their employers.
In this Families Values at Work video, Jason, the father of premature twins, describes why paid family leave is so important.