Paid Leave Expert Commends House Ways and Means Committee for Markup of Transformational Paid Family and Medical Leave Legislation

Press Release
Sept. 8, 2021

Today, Vicki Shabo, Senior Fellow for Paid Leave Policy and Strategy at New America’s Better Life Lab sent a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee praising the paid family and medical leave proposal that the committee will mark up tomorrow, September 9, 2021 at 10 a.m. ET

Shabo also issued the following statement: 

“House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal’s decision to prioritize paid family and medical leave as Subtitle A in his Build Back Better Act is a testament to the fact that people’s need for paid leave to care for themselves or a loved one is universal, but workers’ access is scarce and uneven. People with the greatest need to provide or receive care — often women and people of color — typically have the least access and are forced to take the greatest health and economic risks. 
The enactment of a national paid leave program would be as historic as the enactment of Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance — and its effects on workers’ and families’ health and economic security over time would be just as great. Paid leave rewards work. It strengthens people’s attachment to the workforce and promotes employee retention. It allows people to care for themselves and their loved ones and to protect others. It also reflects values that unite us, like love, responsibility, care and dignity. 
Thanks to the decades-long work of advocates, lawmakers and researchers across the country, the evidence about paid leave’s value—to individuals, families, businesses and the economy—is clear. I hope this week’s markup puts the United States squarely on the path to becoming a country that guarantees paid leave for all.”

Read New America's summary of national paid leave proposals and the  seven positive outcomes of a well-constructed, inclusive, and supportive paid family and medical leave program.