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25 Years Later, Time for an Upgrade to the Family and Medical Leave Act

National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206

Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
212.870.2738917.886.0336 cell

25 Years Later, Time for an Upgrade to the Family and Medical Leave Act

February 5, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today called for an upgrade to the Family and Medical Leave Act to include paid time off. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Twenty-five years ago our nation adopted a federal law requiring unpaid leave for family and medical leave. That measure gave eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child, or a seriously ill family member, or to deal with a serious health condition of their own, including pregnancy. But only 14 percent of the workforce now has access to paid family leave due to various limits and restrictions built into the law. Nearly half of workers eligible for unpaid leave have been unable to use it because they could not afford to go without pay.

“The US is alone in the industrialized world in its failure to provide paid leave that protects jobs and families, easing the burden of caretakers and those who fall ill or suffer from a disability. It is estimated that lost wages due to lack of access to paid time off costs the American economy $20.6 billion per year. For reasons both humane and economic, we need to win passage of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act pending in Congress. Modeled on successful state programs, the FAMILY Act would create a comprehensive, national paid leave program that’s affordable for employees, employers, and the government. It is doable and urgent.”

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. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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