House Passage of Paid Leave in Build Back Better Is A Historic First Step Towards Providing Financial Security for Workers and Families

Statement from Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women and Families

“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the historic Build Back Better Act, which includes a comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy that will improve the lives of millions of women, families, and working people. This bill ensures that workers will no longer fear missing a paycheck or risking their job when they need to care for a new child, a family member, or for their own medical needs. Moreover, this critical policy will create economic growth by keeping women connected to the workforce - even when caregiving needs arise.

“We are incredibly grateful to Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Neal, Chairwoman DeLauro, and all of our champions in the House of Representatives for taking this step towards addressing systemic inequities that burden women and people of color, who are both less likely to have access to paid leave through an employer, and more likely to take on caregiving responsibilities. We also celebrate the historic maternal health investments in the Build Back Better Act, which are crucial to addressing the maternal health crisis that disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and Latinx birthing people.

“For nearly 40 years, the National Partnership for Women and Families has been at the forefront of the fight for paid family and medical leave. We led the groundbreaking campaign with a broad array of advocates to make the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) the law of the land nearly 30 years ago, transforming our culture and paving the way for an increase in women’s participation in the workforce. But the FMLA was only ever supposed to be a first step; the Build Back Better Act contains the paid leave provisions that workers in this country have demanded for years. We urge the Senate to act swiftly and pass the House version of the Build Back Better Act to make these landmark investments a permanent part of our nation’s caregiving infrastructure.”

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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