Studies have found that paid parental leave can reduce infant mortality, increase childhood vaccination rates, reduce depression rates in mothers even decades after giving birth, and increase the engagement of fathers in child-rearing. Despite the clear benefits, the United States is the only rich, industrialized nation that provides no paid parental leave of any kind. The US also provides no support for people who must leave work to care for an elderly parent, an increasingly common phenomenon.
With nearly 80% of US workers unable to access paid family leave through their employer,
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rose DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced S. 248/H.R. 804, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act to remedy that. The legislation would entitle all working individuals to 60 days of payment for caregiving services provided. The payment amount would be calculated based on the income of the recipients. This long-overdue legislation, first introduced in 2013, would provide relief not only for new parents but also for the thousands of people who care for adult family members.
With overwhelming public support for paid family leave and Congress uniquely poised to pass the legislation, passage of the FAMILY Act is more likely than ever. Demand your representatives support the FAMILY Act today.