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Reps Shea-Porter And Kuster Join 112 Colleagues To Reintroduce Paid Family Leave Bill

Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act Would Strengthen New Hampshire Workers’ Economic Security

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined 112 of their colleagues today to reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program and ensure that American workers no longer have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a family member.

“The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that still doesn’t guarantee working parents paid time off to care for their newborns,” said Shea-Porter. “I call on Speaker Ryan to allow a vote on the FAMILY Act, because New Hampshire workers shouldn’t have to choose between their family’s health and economic security.”

“No new parent should have to choose between providing for their family and spending important time caring for and fostering the development of a newborn,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Similarly, no one should lose their livelihood because they need to care for an ill family member. It’s just not right. We must enact policies that support hardworking families in New Hampshire and around the country with commonsense paid family leave policies. It’s good for families and businesses that will benefit from higher worker retention and less turnover.”

A recent University of New Hampshire study found that, “About one-third of New Hampshire workers have jobs without extended paid leave to tend to their own illness; about half lack access to parental leave; and two-thirds lack access to paid leave to care for an ill family member.”

Last week, Shea-Porter introduced another bill to support New Hampshire’s working families, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act, which would boost the tax break’s value and ensure it keeps up with the costs working parents face, including the quickly-rising cost of childcare.

Shea-Porter previously co-introduced the FAMILY Act in 2013, but despite broad support for paid family leave, House Republicans never called a vote on the bill.

AFL-CIO Welcomes The Introduction Of The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act)

The AFL-CIO welcomes the introduction of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act), which will grant families access to the paid leave they so desperately need. The FAMILY Act is not just aimed at working mothers; it will improve job security for all families who have to choose between caring for a family member and a paycheck at times of greatest stress. This bill will strengthen America’s workers and economy by providing income stability for all families.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12 percent of workers in the United States currently have access to paid family leave through their employers.  Without pay, most workers simply cannot afford to take off the time they need.  For a nation built on family values, this is unacceptable.

The FAMILY Act will be especially important to young workers, part-time and low-wage workers, regardless of their employer’s size or their duration on the job.  And the FAMILY Act will be a win for employers as well, because it will lower employee turnover rates and increase productivity, if passed.

The labor movement urges Congress to invest in our families, our economy and our country’s future by giving individuals a chance to take care of important family matters without risk of losing their jobs. A bill that is good for working families is a bill that is good for everyone.

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