Did you know the United States is the only high-income country in the world that does not guarantee a paid leave program? No wonder the U.S. doesn’t even rank in the top 10 best countries for being a working woman according to The Economist’s Glass Ceiling Index. The lack of paid family leave insurance leaves some of our most highly skilled and hardest workers struggling to remain in the workforce, hampering innovation and hamstringing family budgets.
Rebuilding America’s middle class relies on keeping every woman who wants to work in the workforce and earning a paycheck. To help make this a reality, Senator Gillibrand introduced The FAMILY Act, which would create a fully self-sustaining paid family and medical leave program that would provide financial security for our families at the moment they need it most. Based on successful state models, it works by establishing an independent trust fund supported by employee and employer contributions of .2% percentage of wages. In other words, for the cost of one cup of coffee a week (less than $2/wk for the average worker) paid leave would be available to every worker in America — no matter how big your company or whether you work full-time, part-time, or are self-employed.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides unpaid, job-protected leave, but only about half of the workforce qualifies, and many more cannot afford to take it because it is unpaid.
- As workers with care responsibilities withdraw from the workforce, they bring home less income, are less likely to earn raises and promotions, have more restricted access to retirement & SSI benefits and accumulate lower lifetime earnings
- Women are often the primary caregivers of infants, children, and elderly parents. We must make it easier for them to go in and out of the workforce so they can meet those family needs.
- No workers should have to choose between the families they love and the jobs they need
Source: Off The Sidelines PAC (http://offthesidelines.org/plan/paid-family-medical-leave-2/)