Hi everyone! It's Policy Friday! (Sorry, no days of the week start with a "P" :( ).
This morning I'm studying the current federal and state laws for paid family leave. And it has me absolutely LIT. Current standards must change. I will advocate for 6 months of paid protected leave AND an additional 6 months of unpaid protected leave for a total of 12 months of protected leave after the birth of a child.
Current federal "Family Medical Leave Act" (FMLA) states it "provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave."
The federal gov't sets the minimum standards and states usually do their own thing.
There is absolutely no way 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave is enough to adjust to taking care of a newborn.
I will hash out the details on who pays what when it's a paid leave, but at minimum we MUST change this 12-week unpaid standard. I can hear employers freaking out about having to hold jobs down for parents on leave, but it's time to change this culture of business practices that are not friendly towards women and families.
ESPECIALLY when most households need two incomes to survive and an increasing number of women are primary earners. We need to support women in the workforce. Supporting women and families is a priority for our campaign.
Taking this bill straight to Congress, whether I win or not.