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DeLauro Leads More than 100 House Democrats in Reintroducing FAMILY Act

February 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (February 7, 2017)  Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The FAMILY Act would ensure that workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a child, to recover from a serious illness, or to care for a seriously ill family member. DeLauro was joined by 113 original cosponsors on the House bill and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate.

“At some point in our lives, many of us will need to take time off from work for a serious illness, to care for a loved one, or for the birth or adoption of a child. However, only 40 percent of American workers have access to paid personal medical leave for a serious illness, and only 14 percent have access to paid family leave. We can do better for American families,” said DeLauro.

“We need the FAMILY Act to help deal with the biggest economic challenge of our time—that too many American workers are not earning enough to make ends meet. Losing several weeks’ worth of wages in order to care for an ill loved one would push many families over the financial edge, and some past the point of no return,” continued DeLauro. “The time for paid family and medical leave is long overdue—and we will keep fighting until no American worker has to choose between sacrificing a paycheck and caring for their family during the toughest times.”

The FAMILY Act would be paid for through small employer and employee contributions. The average worker would pay just $1.50 per week and the benefits would be completely portable and not tied to any one employer. The legislation is not just beneficial for workers—it works for businesses. In fact, research from the states where paid leave laws have passed shows that implementing the policy has had positive effects on recruitment, retention, productivity and overall performance.

The following organizations have endorsed the FAMILY Act: 1,000 Days, 9to5 - National Association of Working Women, 9to5 California, 9to5 Colorado, 9to5 Georgia, 9to5 Wisconsin, A Better Balance, Academic Pediatric Association, American Pediatric Society, American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), American Federation of Teachers, American Pediatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Sustainable Business Council , Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, Black Women's Roundtable, Caring Across Generations, Caring Economy Campaign, Center for American Progress, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Common Sense Kids Action, Communications Workers of America, Faith in Public Life, Family Equality Council, Family Values @ Work, Human Rights Campaign, Interfaith Worker Justice, Jewish Women International, Labor Project for Working Families, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Main Street Alliance, Make It Work, Mi Familia Vota, MomsRising, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Council of Jewish Women, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Law Center, NETWORK, Pediatric Policy Council, PICO National Network, PL+US, Society for Pediatric Research, Service Employees International Union, Small Business Majority, United States Breastfeeding Committee, Young Invincibles, YWCA USA, ZERO TO THREE.