No person should have to choose between caring for themselves or a family member and keeping their job and income. Urge Congress to pass the FAMILY Act (H.R.947/S.337) to provide paid family and medical leave for all workers in America.
Today, the United States is the only advanced economy that does not offer paid family and medical leave to its workers. Paid leave provides employees the necessary time to recover after illness or surgery, to take care of an ill family member, or to care for a newborn infant. There are a number of societal benefits that come with providing paid leave: access to paid leave leads to better health outcomes; new parents who take leave are more likely to return to the workforce; and businesses see a reduction and job turnover which is good for their bottom lines.
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 provided unpaid leave to many workers. However, restrictions within the law mean that it only covers 60 percent of the workforce. Furthermore, even those who do have access to FMLA protections are guaranteed only unpaid leave. Only 15 percent of workers in the United States have paid family leave benefits.
The FAMILY Act (S. 337/H.R. 947) would provide workers with 12 weeks of partial paid leave to care for themselves or a family member. Workers would be taxed about $1.50 a week, and would be eligible for 66% of their pay during leave. All workers would be eligible regardless of the size of their company or their industry.
Maimonides explained the Jewish imperative to diligently care for one’s own health: "Since by keeping the body in health and vigor, one walks in the ways of God-it being impossible during sickness to have any understanding or knowledge of the Creator - it is a person's duty to avoid whatever is injurious to the body and cultivate habits conducive to health and vigor," (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Book of Knowledge, Laws Relating to Moral and Ethical Conduct, Chapter 4:1). Providing paid family and medical leave to workers removes barriers that inhibit them from fulfilling this important end.
You can email your elected officials through our form above, or you can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak directly with their offices.
For more information on this issue, visit the RAC’s blog or contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Susannah Cohen.
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