Supporting Our Families

Most workplaces don’t look the way they used to a generation ago. One big reason for that: More women, including women who have children, are working outside the home now more than ever before, either as dual income earners or as head of the household.

Our workplace policies, on the other hand, have hardly changed at all. In fact, they haven’t changed since the Mad Men era.

When these important policies don’t keep up with the times, it ends up hurting working families all over New York State.

One of Senator Gillibrand's most important priorities in the Senate is changing our workplace policies to help working families.

The FAMILY Act—giving workers peace of mind when they need to take time off to care for their families

The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee its workers some form of paid leave.

Without paid leave, millions of American workers have to make a painful choice whenever a major life event happens: either take care of their family but lose their income right when they need it most, or keep their job and their paycheck without being by their family’s side.

No American worker should have to make this choice.

The FAMILY Act would create a national paid leave program for every man and woman who works in this country – and it would only cost workers and their employers as little as a cup of coffee a week.

This legislation would level the playing field for small businesses that want to offer paid leave but can’t afford to do it without a national program.

And it would boost employee morale and retention, so businesses don’t have to keep repeating the expensive process of rehiring and retraining workers when a worker has a family emergency.

Affordable Child Care—giving workers the flexibility they need to keep their jobs when they start a family

In New York State, child care can be as expensive as some college tuition. The average cost is over $16,500 a year.

Many working parents don’t earn enough to pay such a high price for child care, so they often have no choice but to quit their jobs and lose their income in order to care for their children.

If they eventually go back to work, their career growth and their wages might be years behind their peers.

Senator Gillibrand would expand the child care tax credit, so that families who don’t have high income can still afford child care for their children – and not have to worry about quitting their jobs. This would allow families to deduct up $14,000 of their child care expenses when they’re filing their taxes. It would be a life-changing amount of savings for many families in our state.