Thursday, March 01, 2007

How Do You Choose Between Family and Work?

A young mother in the Bronx should not have to face the choice of spending time with her newborn daughter or putting food on the table. A working man in Buffalo should not have to risk his family's economic security to take care of his father after a stroke.

Not in New York. Not anywhere.

But working families in New York face these choices every day. That's because the U.S. is one of only five countries in the world without a national policy allowing working families to take paid time off to care for newborn children and seriously ill relatives.

That's wrong and, together, we're going to do something about it.

We're going to fight for our vision of family values: Working families take care of each other.

Families have changed dramatically over the past 30 years, but our workplaces have not kept pace. Today, few families include stay-at-home mothers (or fathers) and more and more working New Yorkers have to take time off to care for elderly relatives. But few jobs allow workers to take paid time off to fulfill their family duties, and many workers cannot afford to take unpaid time off, even for a family emergency.

A bill being drafted in Albany would provide paid family leave for parents of newborns (or newly adopted children) and adults who need time to care for ailing relatives. We can expand an existing social insurance program - temporary disability insurance - so that working New Yorkers would be able to receive a portion of their wages to maintain their family's economic security during their time off.

With your help, and with our allies at the Paid Family Leave Coalition, we are going to persuade the state legislature that in New York, working families should be able to take care of each other. It's time to leave the company of Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Lesotho and Liberia and join California and the rest of the world in enacting uniform paid family leave.

How we talk about this bill will be an important part of winning public support, and so we want you involved. Here are the bill names being considered:
  • Family Responsibility Act
  • Paid Family Leave Act
  • Time to Care Act
  • Working Families Leave Act
Please take a moment to vote for the bill name you like best - and if you've got a better name, we want to hear it.

In April we'll announce the winning bill name and give you ways to start lobbying your state legislators and Gov. Spitzer to move New York towards a policy that gives working families time to take care of each other.

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Josh Mumm said...

Hey guys - I think a great name for this bill would be the Family Care Act. That name seems to suit the message very well.

Bill Goode said...

How about the Job Destruction Act? These things sound nice and feel good, but they put people out of business or cause businesses not to hire! Nothing is free....

Steve Perez said...

Thanks for the suggestion Josh.

Bill, get real. This would cost $14 per employee a year. That's 27 cents a week.