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Hadassah National Action Center

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Support Paid Family and Medical Leave

It's been 21 years since the Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law and it needs an update. Urge your legislators to support and co-sponsor the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act!

United States is one of only four countries that does not mandate any type of paid parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption leave) and only 12 percent of the workforce receives some form of paid family leave from their employers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that employers provide twelve workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for parental leave; recuperation from a serious health condition; or to care for a sick child, parent or spouse. Last year, Hadassah released a statement on the anniversary of implementation. "The Family and Medical Leave Act was an important step 20 years ago, but today, more can—and must—be done to support the economic equity and security of women and families," said Hadassah National President Marcie Natan.

The FAMILY Act (H.R.3712 & S. 1810) would allow employees to receive a percentage of their monthly wages while on leave, funded by a new system of small payroll contributions. Those who are self-employed and unemployed, given sufficient earnings and work history, would also be eligible.

Hadassah is also a supporter of pay equity, pregnant workers rights, paid sick leave, and raising the minimum wage—all crucial components to ensuring women’s economic equity and security. Paid leave is particularly essential to ensuring that women do not have to choose between financial stability and their own health and safety, or that of their families. With women constituting nearly 47 percent of the American workforce, measures to support women’s economic equity also help spur economic recovery and growth nationwide. Click here to contact Congress about the full range of women’s equity issues.

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