This week is chock full of events. On Monday, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) launched its media campaign to raise awareness of Paid Family Leave (PFL). Entitled “Moments Matter,” this campaign highlights crucial moments in life when parents and caregivers can use the partial wage replacement benefits to bond with a new, adopted, or foster child, or care for seriously ill loved ones. Members of the Coalition helped secure funding for this campaign and provided input to the EDD as the campaign was developed. You can read more about that here. We are very excited about the final results!
Visit EDD's Youtube channel for additional ads in Spanish and featuring fathers, elder care, and more.
But even as more Californians learn about Paid Family Leave, more can be done. That is why the Coalition is working closely with Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson on two bills this year: SB 63, the New Parent Leave Act, would provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave for mothers and fathers who work in companies with 20-49 employees, and SB 62, which expands the definition of family to qualify for a 12-week job protected leave to care for loved ones, including grandparents, grandchild, siblings, adult children, and in-laws. In the current political climate, where we are faced with a barrage of threats to our healthcare, citizenship, and other basic rights, the best way to build hope is to invest in our future. We cannot leave our babies and families behind. Let us know if you’d like to get involved by writing letters of support or participating in district visits to let your legislators know these bills are important to you.
And despite the lack of support on comprehensive paid family leave from the federal government, it is important that we continue advocating for family-friendly workplace policies. Last Sunday, February 5th, was the 24th Anniversary of President Bill Clinton signing the Family Medical Leave Act into law. It provides 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for workers to bond with a new baby or care for seriously ill loved ones. But with rising costs of living, not to mention the high costs of taking care of newborns, taking unpaid leave is not a practical option for many families or caregivers.
So it's fitting that today, Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro are leading the reintroduction of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which will provide a universal, gender-neutral paid family and medical leave program. This legislation would allow employees and employers to contribute to a dedicated fund that they can use when they need to take time off to bond with a new baby or care for seriously ill family members. Several states, including California, have already put this program into action. It’s time that the federal government catches up and allows workers the flexibility to care for their families without sacrificing their paychecks.