Ways & Means to Mark Up Paid Leave Today
In response to the COVID pandemic which began in early 2020, Congress acted quickly to pass temporary paid family and medical leave assistance through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). While those provisions have ended, America has a chance finally to permanently end its status as one of the few nations in the world without paid family and medical leave.
The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to meet today to markup spending programs under its authority of approximately $1 trillion to be included in the overall $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. While the markup is expected to be lengthy, the Democratic majority is expected to support a paid family and medical leave package that is largely consistent with our principles, outlined here with our partners in the Small Business for Paid Leave coalition.
Sign on Now
Dear Ways and Means Committee Member:
The importance of a well-established paid family and medical leave program has been spotlighted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, only 21 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through an employer, and only 40 percent have access to short-term disability insurance. Nearly one in four employed mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth and one in five retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned to care for an ill family member. Our current laws aren’t keeping up with the needs of our families or a 21st century economy.
However, America finally has a chance to permanently end its status as one of the few nations in the world without paid family and medical leave. As an American, constituent, and businessperson, I stand with the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) to encourage The House Ways and Means Committee to support the strong, comprehensive 12-week paid family and medical leave program on Thursday during its markup session as part of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
Despite the arguments of opponents, a paid leave program will help businesses of every size, especially small businesses, by increasing employee retention, reducing training costs, and increasing productivity and consumer confidence. I want to thank the House Ways and Means Committee and especially Chairman Neal for its strong support for paid family and medical leave. I urge you to support the committee draft in making this strong statement on behalf of the lives of working Americans and business and their families and finally take this long overdue step toward a national and permanent paid family and medical leave program.