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Documentary Tours Indiana to Promote Paid Family Leave

Indiana does not have a family leave system, nor does it require companies to offer paid sick time off. (Indiana Institute for Working Families)
Indiana does not have a family leave system, nor does it require companies to offer paid sick time off. (Indiana Institute for Working Families)
August 16, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — Free screenings of a new documentary on the need for paid family leave start today in Indianapolis.

The film, "Zero Weeks," will screen at the Landmark Keystone Arts Cinema Thursday night at 5:30; and will then go on to several more cities, including Bloomington on August 28 and South Bend on September 12. Erin Macey, policy analyst at the Indiana Institute for Working families, said the Legislature should provide some relief to Hoosiers who need to take time off for the birth of a baby or to care for a sick relative.

"We’d like Indiana to look at the models that are working well in other states,” Macey said; “by using a small payroll deduction to fund a pool that people can draw from when they need family leave."

Currently only four states offer paid family leave: California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. The United States is the only developed country in the world that expects workers to risk losing their jobs - or at the very least, their paychecks - in order to fulfill family obligations.

Opponents argue the benefit would be too costly.

Jason Tomcsi with AARP Indiana said the care Hoosiers already provide is valued at $9.5 billion a year. And, he added, this issue affects everyone.

"What we like to say is, 'If you want to know what a caregiver looks like, you just need to look in the mirror.’ Because, at some point in time, you are going to want to be there for a loved one,” Tomcsi said. “And you want to be able to do it without the worry about what's going to happen as I'm doing this, how am I going to pay for things."

For more information on the screenings, visit Eventbrite.com and search "Zero Weeks" in Indiana; or visit the Indiana Institute for Working Families website. Additional screenings will be announced in the coming weeks.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - IN