Groundbreaking Paid Leave Proposal is Essential to a Strong Economy

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

"Today, we applaud the Ways & Means Committee and Chairman Neal for releasing a groundbreaking universal paid family and medical leave policy that is foundational for our nation’s caregiving infrastructure. This plan, which builds off the FAMILY Act, shows a real commitment to the permanent, comprehensive, inclusive paid family and medical leave everyone in this country deserves.”

“This pandemic has ravaged every part of our country, placing the overwhelming burden, once again, on women and families of color. Latinx workers are 66 percent less likely, Black workers 83 percent less likely and Native American, Pacific Islander and multiracial workers are 100 percent less likely to be able to take leave when needed. Not only have these communities been carrying all of us through the pandemic, but they’ve done it without time off to care for themselves or their loved ones.”

“Today’s plan reflects real change and is a starting point to building an economy that works for all people. Working people would have ample time and financial support to care for their families and themselves, with average workers receiving the majority of their wages, and lower-income earners receiving nearly their full wages. Furthermore, the definition of families reflects what today’s American families look like.”

“This proposal is a historic step forward. It recognizes that meeting our individual and family caregiving needs is essential for all families, communities and businesses to thrive."

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 women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization drafted and led the fight to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act. More information is available at


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