Each year, millions of new parents in the U.S. are forced to choose between raising their families or keeping their jobs. The United States only requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave - and we're the only developed nation in the world not to offer paid family and medical leave. This situation has dramatic effects on parents, children, and the economy at-large, with only 12 percent of families having access to paid leave.
Lack of paid family and medical leave has significant and lasting effects on families and seniors. Nearly half of new mothers have to take unpaid leave, and a quarter either quit or are let go from their jobs when a new child arrives. For mothers who do take unpaid leave, a third are forced to borrow money, use their savings, and/or put off paying bills, and 15 percent even have to depend on public assistance to survive. Similarly, three-quarters of fathers are only able to take just a week or less off work. And although the number of seniors who will need long-term care services will more than double by 2050, 62 percent of caregivers still have full-time jobs and would need paid leave to afford caring for their loved ones.
The benefits of providing paid leave are clear, by helping keep people in the labor force and expanding it; reducing turnover and employment interruptions; and ensuring that workers who take leave go back to their original jobs. California’s paid leave program is already saving employers $89 million a year in reduced turnover costs.
Urge the Michigan legislature to pass a paid family and medical leave law, and help protect families and grow our economy!