Friday, October 16, 2015

Is paid family leave inevitable?

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                                                           Comment due by Oct. 23, 2015

Presidential candidates are talking about paid family leave — both for and against it — because they know this issue is top of mind for voters throughout the country. For American voters, family comes first. Whether it's for a newborn, an ailing parent, or a spouse nursing an injury, being there and providing for family isn't negotiable.
The question is whether we as a nation are going to let every family fend for themselves, or adopt a national solution that makes sure that putting family first doesn't mean losing your paycheck or your job. Voters are demanding policies that reflect this priority. 
"It's about time we had paid family leave for American families and join the rest of the world," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her opening remarks at the first Democratic debate.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders echoed: "We should not be the only major country that does not provide medical and — and parental leave — family and parental leave to all of our families."
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley built on the idea: "We would be a stronger nation economically if we had paid family leave."
The three Democratic front-runners are not the only ones speaking to this issue. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who's running in the Republican primary, has come out with his own paid family-leave proposal (albeit a severely flawed one), and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorinadevoted an entire blog post to defending her position against paid family leave.
Recent polling by "Make it Work," a campaign I co-founded to advance women and working families' economic issues, found that 75 percent of voters say they support a package of work-family policies that includes paid family leave, paid sick days, equal pay, affordable child care and a higher minimum wage. Fifty-six percent of voters said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports this plan.
And it's not just women. Fifty-five percent of men say they are more likely to vote for candidates who support this plan. The number of men who use the job protections of the current Family and Medical Leave Act to care for family members has been slowly but steadily increasing, and more and more men are calling for employers to adopt paid parental leave policies.
Paid family leave and other family-friendly policies are good for children, good for families, good for public health and, as Gov. O'Malley noted, good for the economy. In the states that have adopted paid leave – California, New Jersey and Rhode Island – both employers and employees report benefiting from the law. And in recent months, we've heard from companies like NetflixMicrosoftAdobeLinkedIn,FacebookGoogle and others about their recently adopted generous paid leave policies for moms and dads. These policies aren't always perfect, but the idea that companies should be providing these supports for families – from 12 weeks to 52 weeks of fully paid leave – comes from the understanding that these policies are not only the right thing to do, but also good for business and retaining great employees.
We can't rely on companies to do it alone, or too many people will be left behind – especially low-income families who need paid leave the most. That's why presidential candidates are taking the matter into their hands. In the Democratic debate, Sec. Clinton pointed to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as a champion of this issue. The Family Act, the bill championed by Gillibrand and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), would guarantee paid leave to care for new children and those with serious illnesses. With the right candidate, paid family and medical leave could finally become a reality in 2017. 
Commentary by Vivien Labaton, co-founder and co-director of MakeIt Work

12 comments:

James McDermott said...

Before I read this article on paid family leave, I knew the answer. Of course paid family leave should be inevitable. I strongly concur with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and Marco Rubio's views on paid family leave.The impact of family leave is felt beyond the direct benefit an individual worker receives. Parental leave and similar policies hold potential to reduce workplace bias faced by all women and men with caregiving responsibilities.Opponents of this type of law worry about the replacement cost of labor to cover workers on leave. This is a minor conflict in which corporations have to face. Corporations and business' have to think more humanely. People need to take off for important things such as raising a child and getting over a sickness. This paid leave or economic aid that is provided needs to be inevitable.

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with both the article and with what James has said. Family leave, I feel like, is incredibly important, and the way that other countries have it set up is astounding. The article is right- the U.S. is the only developed country in the world with such a crappy family leave plan. This topic of family leave reminds me of a few men that I know, all of whom are single fathers trying to stay in their kids' lives while trying to work in order to help provide for the kid(s), deal with the mothers (depending on their current relationship with them, whether it is good or bad), and simply just trying to live their lives. I respect these men because attempting to be in a child's life is hard work, and not being together with the mother is strenuous because something could easily go wrong, and they're the ones who might have end up suddenly bringing their child to the hospital for whatever reason, and have to miss work and miss out on getting paid X amount of dollars all because they're just trying to be good fathers. All of this because they already spent all of their family leave time and now have none left, so now they have to suffer to some degree all because the US doesn't provide more leave time.

-Elizabeth Piper Phillips

Anonymous said...

Paid family leave is something that most people and countries take for granted these days. Personally I agree that something needs to be put in place for families that want to take care of their children. However, nothing in this world is free, and it is not like the United States is going to receive a sum of money anytime soon. With that in mind, family leave would be taking away from something else within our borders. If it's social security, government funding, or even our public good production something will be forgone to produce this much needed outcome. A plus would be added, but many minuses could occur.

-Alexander Shields

Liam Monarchio said...

Before I get started I just want to say that from a non economic point of view a paid family leave should be given by one-hundred percent of the companies in the United States. From an economic point of view i believe that this should be taken very seriously because there are people out there that fake injuries just to get free paychecks. I call these people Free Riders. People may fake an ankle sprain or say they have shin splints so they can't walk and than they would have to take off a week or two and get a free paycheck. I believe that people who say that they are injured or a family member is ill or something is wrong with their kids, that the company that they work for should follow up on the situation and make sure their employees are telling the truth. In the end Paid Family leave is essential in the United States all over but the companies should make sure everything checks out.

Heather Kiczek said...

Paid family leave is something that all businesses, companies, and jobs need to have, because it is inevitable that things happen in people's lives that lead to their work not being a main priority. Similarly to what the article is stating, Americans believe that family should come first so the case that presidential candidates are presenting who are for paid family leave, it is common sense as to why they are presenting this. They also believe that it is good for the economy because it secures employment and jobs which keeps the economy flowing. People opposed to this are worried about the work that won't be done while people are getting paid to not be working. In a sense also, in some cases, associations may be double paying. Like for example, if a teacher is on paid leave, the state needs to pay the teacher and lost the substitute. In my opinion, the way that other countries have this set up is the way that the United States should have it set up, simply becasue the United States is the most developed country however we have to worst system for family leave and it is only benefitting the people and the economy so there is no reason to not have a better system.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more. Paid family leave in an absolute must. I do not think that everyone should just have a promised 52 weeks of paid leave though. There will be guide lines put in place. But the ending should be a very accessable for all the individuals and families and not have any crazy obsticles to work through and around. This is important because everyone will greatly appriciate the value of the leave. Then in a butterfly effect, this will keep employees happier when they get back or even before they leave. Once employees are kept happy their quality of work get better. I can see this all can brung some concerns to people opposed to this because they think families will take advantage of it. There will never be a perfect way of setting this law but if it comes to the point where too many people are taking advantage or the riskof it is real. The solution could be easy, just have all employees take a few dollars out of there monthly pay checks into a pool and have that give employees money during their leave.

-Matthew Golden

Anonymous said...

Paid family leave is very important in the sense that things come up in people's lives and sometimes you need to take time off from work. An accident can happen anytime and someone can have a child, get into an a coma, get cancer, etc. and they will need to take a break from work to take care of their personal affairs. Paid family leave also shows that the company cares about its employees and respects their personal issues. Therefore, it promotes good, reliable, respectable employees. It will also make employees want to work hard since they have such an understanding and quality company. Paid family leave should be enforced by all states in the United States because you never know what is going to happen. People work hard for their companies and should expect to be helped and understood when they are in a time of need. Yes, paid family leave can leave a large deficit on a company, but it would most likely be made up in the quality of work by the employees since they will be so satisfied with their employer.

-Nick Arciszewski

prince unaegbu said...

This article talks about a top issue in the presidential election, which is “paid family leave”. It talks about how families are always concerned about providing for their own, that is the number one priority. People want to know what they (the candidates) are going to do to help families make sure that they are financially safe. I agree with this article because if we had paid family leave we would probably be better off as a nation economically, just because if we had that we would have more people healthy enough to work because they would be receiving medical care which means more people would work so more money is being made. Also being the country that has a horrible family leave plan sucks because we are supposed to be one of the most “developed” countries but we cant even provide a good plan for people to take care of there love ones. I enjoyed this article a lot just because it made me realize a lot of things.

Alexandar Dimcevski said...

From a purely political aspect there is only on way to go in order to have power which is to follow the majority. Thereby I think that we eventually will see government incentives for paid family leave, simply because politicians can’t afford to oppose.
The article mentions giant companies like Apple and Facebook. Companies that are market leaders, and have a successful business model. This companies have great earnings and economic investments to be able to survive long economic recessions. Soo they can afford to attract the greatest quality of labor with offering family-friendly policies.
A startup business or a laggard company were every single penny is necessary in order for success, or simply a company that offers job that doesn’t require the sharpest quality of labor have totally different financial books. A food delivery car will still have to get from point A to point B, it doesn’t matter if there is a high school degree or a Master’s degree who’s driving the car. Thereby these companies either can’t afford attracting great minds or don’t have the need to do so.
If government legislate paid family leave it will act as additional tax for all businesses that don’t already have it by their own will as well as forcing them to adapt to the new equilibrium where not as many will be as successful. If this would occur, where the startups and laggards can’t compete with the leaders it would be an ever bigger market share for leaders and less diversity for the consumer.

Anthony Zullo said...

Is paid leave a good move for the whole country? I personally believe there needs to be many exceptions and outlines to this act if it is passed. Is a paid leave supporting people to just become enpregnated and the growth of unreliable families supported with this act? Many people pushing for this Act to be passed are part of the middle class that are family people and will do anything to provide for there family, but what about this act on the lower class and the junkies that will be funded in there minimum wage jobs for having a kid and using that money in unsupportive ways. How does America set restrictions and outlines to make this Act respectable and work for everyone. If over 50% of citizens are supporting people running that will pass this Act I think it is most likley to end up happening. This Act would need to get funds to companies somehow and I believe it will just be another tax on the upper class.

Anonymous said...

Paid family leave is something that’s very important nowadays to most families. It is something that they depend on in case something were to happen where they have to take some time off their jobs. Businesses allowing families take some time off shows that they care for the benefit of their employees. Paid family leave should be enforced 100% everywhere because we don’t know what could happen to anyone, especially for those people who give their all to the companies they work for, they deserve to feel safe in the their place of work.

- Chelsy Ventura

Anonymous said...

After the reading the title of this article, it made me think about right away about what I would want as an adult with a full time job. After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that having paid family leave should be inevitable. Reading this article I could fully relate to the topic. Growing up in a family where family values and having family be number one in your life made me think a lot about this article. In the article it discusses how many political candidates are for having paid family leave being inevitable. Based on these political candidates proposals on this paid leave, a study show that 75 percent of voters are already for paid family leave to be inevitable. The study also shows that 56 percent of voters say that there more likely to vote for the candidate who is for having paid family leave become inevitable. Believe it or not it is not just women who are apart of the 56 percent, it is men as well. The reason for his is because for men most of the jobs they have give them the benefit of having family and medical paid leave of absence. All I can do is hope that when I am grown up with a full time job that I can receive paid leave for family.
-Surina Sandhu