Paid Family Leave – Washington

Paid family and medical leave fast tracked through Legislature, By Jim Camden, July 3, 2017, Spokesman-Review: “Late Friday night, with great emotion but relatively little fanfare, the Legislature moved Washington into the forefront among states that provide financial help to parents after childbirth or when a family member is seriously ill or dying. In strong bipartisan votes, the House and Senate moved quickly to approve a state-regulated program for paid family and medical leave…”

Paid Family Leave – California

Brown signs California law boosting paid family-leave benefits, By Patrick McGreevy, April 11, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill expanding California’s pioneering family-leave law to help more low-income workers and provide better benefits. ‘It’s a real pleasure to be able to sign another bill that helps ordinary Californians, working men and women,’ Brown said.  The action comes 15 years after California became the first state in the nation to guarantee workers paid time off to care for a new child or ailing family member…”

Paid Family Leave – Washington DC

D.C.’s 16-week family leave plan would be most generous in U.S., By Aaron C. Davis October 5, 2015, Washington Post: “The District would become the most generous place in the country for a worker to take time off after giving birth or to care for a dying parent under a measure supported by a majority of the D.C. Council. Under the legislation that will be introduced Tuesday, almost every part-time and full-time employee in the nation’s capital would be entitled to 16 weeks of paid family leave to bond with an infant or an adopted child, recover from an illness, recuperate from a military deployment or tend to an ill family member…”

State Policies and Protections for Workers

Lawmakers aim to help people balance work, family, By Jake Grovum, July 9, 2015, Stateline: “After years of focusing on Great Recession job losses, increasing economic inequality and ashrinking middle class, lawmakers in many states this year turned to a related front: trying to make life a little easier for Americans struggling to balance work and family obligations.  Their focus on issues such as paid leave, predictable shift scheduling and protections for pregnant workers reflects a sobering fact: Years after the recession ended, many Americans still do not feel economically secure. Many families fear that without safeguards, a medical emergency or family obligation that pulls them away from work could mean financial disaster…”

Paid Leave

New momentum on paid leave, in business and politics, By Claire Cain Miller, June 22, 2015, New York Times: “Oregon this month became the fourth state to pass a bill requiring that companies give workers paid sick days to care for themselves or family members. Chipotle said this month that it would begin offering hourly workers paid sick days and vacation days, joining McDonald’s, Microsoft and other companies that have recently given paid leave to more workers. And in a speech meant to preview her presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton put paid leave at the center of her platform. No one, she said, should have ‘to choose between keeping a paycheck and caring for a new baby or a sick relative.’  Long a pet Democratic cause that seemed hopelessly far-fetched, paid leave suddenly seems less so…”

Child Care and Paid Sick Leave

Child-care issues move to political forefront as both parties position for midterms, By Zachary Goldfarb and Juliet Eilperin, June 23, 2014, Washington Post: “Paid leave and access to child care are surging to the top of the nation’s political debate as Democrats and Republicans seek to win votes and advance policies to address the economic struggles of families trying to raise children and hold jobs. A high-profile White House ‘working families’ summit Monday will focus on issues such as child care, paid family leave and equal pay between men and women. Politicians in both parties are also rolling out new work flexibility and child-care legislation amid predictions that such issues will be prominent in the 2014 midterm and 2016 presidential campaigns. Paid leave and child care are emerging as centerpiece issues for many Democrats, part of their broader attempt to portray Republicans as hostile to issues important to women. President Obama said last week . . .”

Paid Family Leave

Paid family leave hits a snag in states, By Jake Grovum, April 17, 2014, Stateline: “California became the first state to embrace government-backed paid family and medical leave more than a decade ago. Since then, few other states have followed California’s path, and supporters are now considering a different approach. After lobbying state by state for years, some supporters of paid family leave say it’s time for a federal solution. A proposal in Congress from Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York would export the models used in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island nationwide. Those are the only three states with their own paid leave laws…”

Paid Parental Leave

Report decries lack of paid parental leave in US, By David Crary (AP), February 23, 2011, Washington Post: “Americans often take pride in ways their nation differs from others. But one distinction – lack of a nationwide policy of paid maternity leave – is cited in a new report as an embarrassment that could be redressed at low cost and without harm to employers. ‘Despite its enthusiasm about ‘family values,’ the U.S. is decades behind other countries in ensuring the well-being of working families,’ said Janet Walsh, deputy director of the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch. ‘Being an outlier is nothing to be proud of in a case like this.’ Human Rights Watch, based in New York, focuses most of its investigations on abuses abroad. But on Wednesday, with release of a report by Walsh on work/family policies in the U.S., it takes the relatively unusual step of critiquing a phenomenon affecting tens of millions of Americans…”

Paid Family Leave – California

Study: Paid family leave raises satisfaction without killing jobs in California, By Niesha Lofing, January 11, 2011, Sacramento Bee: “California’s landmark Paid Family Leave program didn’t amount to be the costly ‘job-killer’ businesses initially feared and has resulted in significant economic, social and health benefits for both male and female workers, economic and labor researchers found in a study released today. The study by University of California Los Angeles, City University of New York and the Center for Economic and Policy Research is the first study of the state’s Paid Family Leave since the law’s passage in 2002. The program, the benefits of which became available to most working Californians in July 2004, provides eligible employees up to six weeks of wage replacement leave at 55 percent of their usual weekly earnings (with a cap that is adjusted for inflation) when they take time off from work to bond with a new child or to care for a seriously ill relative. Researchers Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman noted that, despite business opposition to the law, most employers they surveyed reported that the program had either a ‘positive effect’ or ‘no noticeable effect’ on productivity, profitability and performance, turnover and morale…”