Press Statement
National Partnership Has Harsh Criticism for Virginia Governor Following Veto of Paid Leave Legislation

Statement of Jocelyn Frye, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 8, 2024 – “Today, we join with our friends and allies in Virginia vowing to continue the fight for paid leave, following the disappointing news that Governor Youngkin vetoed SB 373 – legislation that would have provided eight weeks of paid leave to many working Virginians.

“With this veto, Governor Youngkin has turned his back on the more than 3.5 million workers in the state who do not have access to paid leave through their jobs, and the millions more who are not eligible even to access unpaid leave.

“Because of this devastating decision, workers in Virginia will have to continue to choose between going to work while feeling ill or undermining their ability to keep the lights on and feed their families. This veto will also impact older people who would thrive under the care of family members who receive paid leave, but cannot receive that care due to a lack of these policies. Virginia’s families and growing aging population – and in particular people of color – will all suffer as a result of this decision, in addition to the state’s economy.

“Virginia is an outlier among its neighbors. Maryland and the District of Columbia are two of the 14 states (which includes D.C.) that have now passed paid leave laws. These states recognize paid leave boosts local economies and businesses by reducing turnover and improving employee retention, morale and productivity. It also helps small businesses provide the benefit to their employees, making those businesses more competitive in the job market compared with larger employers. With paid leave, there would be 73,000 more people in Virginia’s workforce earning $2.7 billion more in wages – money that would be spent on goods and services, fueling economic growth throughout the state.

“Despite the veto, the National Partnership will continue to work with and alongside champions for paid leave in Virginia, because we know paid family leave is a fundamental safeguard that advances economic security and prosperity for our workers, our families and our communities.”

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Media Contact:

Gail Zuagar

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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