NCJW Welcomes Introduction of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act

December 12, 2013, Washington, DC — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today welcomed the introduction of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which seeks to ensure that working people have a portion of their income during periods of necessary family or medical leave. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“The introduction in Congress today of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act is a huge first step toward helping those workers who lack any paid personal and family medical leave benefits. It is especially important for women, who often shoulder the burden of coping with such emergencies and ongoing crises while losing much needed income. NCJW has long supported policies that facilitate balance between work and family, and the FAMILY Act would be an important addition to our national safety net.

“The proposed national paid family and medical leave insurance program would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they need time for serious illness, pregnancy and childbirth recovery, or the serious health condition of a family member or partner. It would be funded by a small payroll contribution.

“The advantages of such a program for women and families have already been documented. New mothers who take paid leave are more likely than those who take no paid leave to stay in the workforce and 54 percent more likely to report wage increases. Paid leave contributes to improved newborn and child health. Outcomes of other medical conditions are improved when paid leave is available.

“The US lags far behind other wealthy industrialized countries in providing such paid leave benefits. It’s past time to add such an important protection to the wages and benefits of all workers.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Contact: Brianne Nadeau


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