Advocates Renew Push for National Paid Leave Policy
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Talks continue in Washington on another stimulus-style package to help the U.S. recover from the pandemic, including transportation infrastructure improvements.
A coalition said it's not just crumbling roads and bridges that need a federal boost and the jobs that come with it.
Organizers say it's time for the U.S. to invest in the nation's care infrastructure by adopting a permanent paid family leave policy.
Dawn Huckelbridge, director of the Paid Leave for All campaign, said the nation can't walk away from the crisis without one.
"You know, we talk about front-line workers and essential workers and the sacrifices that families and caregivers have made," Huckelbridge observed. "This is how we honor that, by passing a permanent law to protect them."
While a temporary paid leave policy was included in a previous stimulus bill, advocates contended working families will struggle in the long term, because fewer than ten states require it, not including Iowa.
Opponents of the idea said many employers have their own policy, and a requirement could harm small business owners.
Sue Dinsdale, executive director of the Iowa Citizen Action Network, said paying into a federal fund would provide stability for businesses in the long run because they could retain quality workers by offering the benefit.
"It'll make businesses stronger, and it offers better equality for everyone," Dinsdale argued.
She added even though states such as Iowa adhere to requiring 12 weeks of unpaid leave through a federal law adopted in 1993, there are uneven results of employers providing compensation with any leave.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only about 20% of Americans have access to paid family leave.
Disclosure: Paid Leave For All contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Advocates for people with disabilities in New York are pushing for the federal budget resolution to include $400 billion in Medicaid …
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Freshwater mussels are key to keeping the Chesapeake Bay watershed clean, and with more than half of all species now facing …
BUFFALO, Wyo. -- The doors of five historic community halls across Johnson and Sheridan counties were opened this past weekend for 15 people curious …
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Massive wildfires in the Western U.S. and Canada have triggered poor air quality in North Carolina over the past few weeks, and …
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Farmworkers are in Olympia today, calling for stronger protections from extreme heat. The farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la …
BOISE, Idaho -- Rallies are taking place across the Northwest to support salmon, which face dire conditions in the Columbia River Basin. Saturday…
IXONIA, Wis. -- The public comment period has ended, but opponents of proposed natural gas storage facilities in southeastern Wisconsin still hope to …
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvanians are growing worried about the environmental consequences of natural-gas drilling in the state, according to a new …