On Wednesday, the Senate passed legislation that will provide paid sick and family leave for many Americans, as well as free coronavirus testing and strengthened unemployment insurance. In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the bill, known as the “Families First Act,” passed 90-8. It now heads to President Trump’s desk, who expressed support for the bill and is likely to sign.
What is the cost of a father dying alone? Who knows the toll when chemo is what you do on your lunch hour? How do we measure the loss of a career to care for a loved one with a disability? What’s the price tag on a child’s terror while waiting in her hospital bed for a parent to finish work and drop exhausted into the chair beside her?
Congress finally guaranteed paid leave to federal workers when they have a new baby or adopt or foster a child.
I was driving home from work in June of 2015 when I received the kind of phone call no parent ever wants to get.
The U.S. is one of only two nations in the world that does not offer some form of paid leave, leaving over 80 percent of workers with little financial recourse if they must take time off to care for a new child or a sick family member. Feminists this week pushed for progress on the issue on Capitol Hill—winning one major victory and then calling for even more.
I hope this Father’s day that children across the country are celebrating dads who cook, do chores, help with homework and keep their households running—all while thriving at work. We can have healthy, happy communities and families. By demanding as much, we can change humanity.
We need a national paid leave program that is effective and sustainable, that will reach those who need it the most and that will not threaten other key areas of support for working families. But the recently-proposed CRADLE Act fails to meet any of those criteria.
It has been encouraging to see politicians on both sides of the aisle signal their support for a national paid parental leave plan in the days since President Trump’s State of the Union address. With any legislation, however, the devil is in the details—and the plan proposed by the administration to date is devilish indeed.
Congress must pass the FAMILY Act, and President Trump must sign it into law.
What talent are we losing in our country’s business, security or political leadership by forcing young women to make impossible choices between work and family?