Today, the National Partnership for Women & Families released a new video featuring some of the most recognizable leaders in business advocating for a nationwide paid family and medical leave program. The video features business leaders from ThirdLove, Patagonia, Sun Life U.S., Thinx, Airbnb, Seven Seven Six, Levi Strauss & Co., Brew HaHa! Cafe (where President Biden often gets his coffee), and Melinda French Gates. The business leaders share why they think ensuring all workers can take time off to care for themselves or a loved one — without losing pay — is a critical policy that Congress and the Biden Administration must prioritize.
“These leaders recognize that paid family and medical leave is a good policy for businesses and workers because everyone benefits when workers can take the time they need to care for themselves or a loved one without missing a paycheck,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “As Congress is considering investments in infrastructure and caregiving, it is critical that paid family and medical leave is part of the package. Far too many women and people of color lack access to this critical benefit through an employer, and as we rebuild our economy enacting paid leave is an important step towards creating a more equitable future for all.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is also launching a six-figure multi-state ad campaign to showcase the voices of business leaders that are advocating for a nationwide, inclusive paid family and medical leave program. The video participants are:
- Alexis Ohanian, Former Executive Chair, Reddit and Founder, Seven Seven Six
- Alisa Morkides, Owner of Brew HaHa! Cafes
- Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
- Dan Fishbein, M.D., President, Sun Life U.S.
- Heidi Zak, Co-Founder and CEO, ThirdLove
- Jenna Johnson, Head of Patagonia, Inc
- Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Founder of Pivotal Ventures
- Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Airbnb
- Shama Amalean, interim CEO & COO, Thinx Inc.
The reality is only 21 percent of civilian workers in the United States have access to paid family leave through their employers and individuals of color are the least likely to have access to paid family and medical leave through an employer. When employees have access to paid leave it increases productivity, improves employee morale and retention and allows smaller businesses to compete with larger businesses, based on the experience of states that have enacted the policy. There is widespread support among businesses and voters for enacting a paid family and medical leave program, with 70% of small businesses expressing support for the policy. Additionally, nearly 200 businesses sent a letter urging Congress to pass paid leave.
“Paid leave policies are good for businesses, big and small and it’s time to have paid leave for all,” said Alexis Ohanian, Former Executive Chair, Reddit and Founder, Seven Seven Six.
“A comprehensive paid leave policy would make small businesses, like my business, which operates on slim margins, more competitive with the big guys,” said Alisa Morkides, Owner of Brew HaHa! Cafes.
“Paid family and medical leave is key to our long-term health and to our economic stability,” said Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
“Paid leave for all would mean equality and that should be reason enough for us to do it. It enables everyone to work,” said Dan Fishbein, M.D., President, Sun Life U.S.
“Paid family and medical leave policies keep people working and caring. Annually, our economy loses 500 billion dollars because women don’t have paid leave,” said Heidi Zak, Co-Founder and CEO, ThirdLove.
“The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t have a national paid leave program, but implementing a comprehensive policy is a step towards true gender and racial equity,” said Jenna Johnson, Head of Patagonia, Inc.
“Our country’s caregiving system is broken, and it's taken a toll on families, on our economy, and our society. Nobody should have to choose between caring for their family, and their paycheck,” said Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Founder of Pivotal Ventures.
“When we talk about infrastructure in this country, it’s not just about roads and bridges, it's also our caregivers. Investing in our workforce, means investing in these communities and our country’s future,” said Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Airbnb.
“Nobody should have to worry if staying home with a serious illness, or starting a family, could cost them their job,” said Shama Amalean, COO, Thinx Inc.
The video can be found here.
About the National Partnership
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.
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