On the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Senator Gillibrand released the following statement on the need for universal paid leave:
“No one should ever have to decide between caring for a loved one and earning a paycheck. Yet every day, too many Americans are forced to make that impossible choice. On the 30th anniversary of the FMLA, it’s more clear than ever that we need a comprehensive national paid leave program. Paid family and medical leave lets workers take the time they need to recover from a serious illness or care for a sick child or loved one – all without the risk of losing their jobs. It strengthens our economy and our families and makes our country more competitive on the global stage. This is a commonsense program that is long overdue. I’ve been fighting for universal paid leave for a decade in Congress and I’m more committed than ever to seeing it through and making paid leave available to every American.”
The FMLA has helped employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. While the program has been greatly successful, there are still barriers to access and more must be done to cater to the current reality of working Americans, and a paid program must be created. Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are the authors of the FAMILY Act, their signature legislation to establish America’s first national paid family and medical leave program. The FAMILY Act would ensure that every worker, no matter the size of their employer or if they are self-employed or part-time, has access to paid leave for every serious medical event, every time it is needed.
Last week, Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman DeLauro, along with Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representatives Richie Neal (D-MA), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Sean Casten (D-IL), and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) held a press conference ahead of the anniversary to announce a legislative package to establish a paid family and medical leave program and expand and modernize the FMLA.
Video recording of the event can be viewed here.