For a country that claims to value families, the United States does little to show it when it comes to the workplace. Not only are we one of the only countries that does not guarantee new moms and dads paid leave, but there are more than 40 million Americans without access to a single paid sick day. Millions more don’t have paid sick days to care for sick children.
As breadwinners and caregivers for families, moms and their families too often suffer without family friendly workplace policies. And that’s why, with Mother’s Day fast approaching and the #WhatMothersNeed week of action in full swing, the National Partnership is joining with allies and activists across the country to call on Congress to take action.
There are two reasonable, common sense proposals members of Congress could prioritize today. The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would establish a national paid family and medical leave program that would enable people to take the time they need when new children arrive or serious health conditions arise – bringing the United States in line with the rest of the world and with what families, communities and businesses need. And the Healthy Families Act would guarantee access to paid sick days.
These policies would go a long way toward making the country’s workplaces more family friendly. And we know from similar laws and programs at the state and local levels that they benefit workers, their families, businesses and economies.
So for Mother’s Day, and to make sure members of Congress recognize the importance of these policies, especially for new moms and babies, we are proud to be partnering with allies from ZERO TO THREE and MomsRising today to host a congressional briefing on the FAMILY Act. Joined by paid leave champions Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, medical and children’s health experts and a small business owner, we will be talking about the critical role parental access to paid leave can play in supporting healthy child development as well as families and our economy.
We are also coming together with other advocates and activists online – sending messages to Congress in support of these bills and sharing our thoughts about what mothers truly need with our friends and followers through Facebook and Twitter. And you can help.
Tell your members of Congress it’s time for workplaces that reflect the needs of moms and families today. It is time for the FAMILY Act and the Healthy Families Act. No mother – or father, or any other worker – should have to choose between job and family when illness strikes, children are born or adopted, or serious medical needs arise. What we all need this Mother’s Day is a truly family friendly America.
You can support the #WhatMothersNeed week of action by telling your friends, family, followers and members of Congress what you think mothers truly need this Mother’s Day. We’re focusing on a new issue each day, including: quality maternity care, pregnancy discrimination, family friendly workplace policies like paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, fair pay, and access to quality, affordable health care. Comment below and/or check out the daily tweet storms at 3 p.m. ET on Twitter – hashtag #WhatMothersNeed – to join the conversation.