Van Hollen, Gillibrand Introduce FAMILY Act to Create Paid Family and Medical Leave Program
Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and a group of 26 Senators to reintroduce the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or FAMILY Act, legislation that would create a universal, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave program.
The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national paid leave program, and only 14 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave through their employer. Without a national paid family leave program, the U.S. economy loses almost $21 billion a year, women lose $324,000 in wages and retirement benefits over a lifetime, and men lose $284,000. A lack of a national paid leave program hurts businesses; studies show that businesses incur an additional 20 percent cost to recruit and retrain new workers replacing others who left because they did not have paid leave.
"As the only industrialized country without paid parental leave, the United States leaves too many mothers and fathers no choice but to return to work mere days after bringing a new child into their home," said Senator Van Hollen. "And when they or a family member has a long-term illness, there is no way for workers to take the time they need to recover. We can do better for Marylanders and all Americans who are trying to climb the economic ladder, and this bill is a proven approach to giving workers added economic security when they need it the most."
The FAMILY Act creates a self-sustaining family insurance program for all workers - young and elderly, single and married, and men and women, regardless of the size of their employer. Modeled after successful state programs, and costing only as much as a cup of coffee per week, the fund would provide up to 66 percent wage-replacement for 12 weeks in the event of a serious personal or family medical emergency.
The following organizations have endorsed the FAMILY Act: 1,000 Days, 9to5, National Association of Working Women, 9to5 California, 9to5 Colorado, 9to5 Georgia, 9to5 Wisconsin, A Better Balance, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, American Federation of Teachers, American Pediatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Sustainable Business Council , Black Women's Roundtable, Caring Across Generations, Caring Economy Campaign, Center for American Progress, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Common Sense Kids, Communication Workers of America, Faith in Public Life, Family Equality Council, Family Values @ Work, Human Rights Campaign, Interfaith Worker Justice, Jewish Wome International, Labor Project for Working Families, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Main Street Alliance, Make It Work, Mi Familia Vota, MomsRising, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Council of Jewish Women, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Law Center, NETWORK, PICO National Network, PL+US, Service Employees International Union, Small Business Majority, United States Breastfeeding Committee, Young Invincibles, YWCA USA, ZERO TO THREE.
Next Article Previous Article