National Partnership for Women & Families Applauds Introduction of the FAMILY ACT on the Anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act

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

"Twenty-eight years ago, our nation took a critical step towards creating a more robust, equitable workplace for all employees when the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law. Although the FMLA helped transform the workplace, nearly 80 percent of U.S. workers, including a disproportionate share of women and people of color, still lack access to paid leave through an employer.

We applaud Senator Gillibrand and Representative DeLauro as well as the more than 230 members of Congress — 197 in the House and 35 in the Senate — for introducing the FAMILY Act. This critical bill would establish a comprehensive and inclusive paid family and medical leave program that would address the ongoing needs of our most vulnerable populations.

As thousands of women and women of color have been forced to leave the workforce due to the challenges of meeting the dual demands of work and caregiving amid the pandemic, ensuring all workers have access to paid leave is a crucial step towards eliminating the systemic racism, sexism and discrimination that exist across our society. Moreover, the policy is widely supported by voters and small business owners alike. The time is now to pass an inclusive paid family and medical leave policy so workers no longer have to make the impossible choice between caring for themselves or a loved one and their financial security.”

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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