Paid Family Leave Now

by Matt Newell-Ching


Paid Family Leave Means Dignity for Low and Middle-Income Families

The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without paid family leave.

No one should have to choose between keeping a job and caring for a family member. Yet only 13 percent of American workers currently have access to paid family and medical leave through their job. Most low-income working families simply do not have access to paid family leave. This disproportionately impacts women and people of color.

Think about this: In many states, it is illegal to purchase a puppy that hasn’t spent eight weeks with its mother.

Yet one in four new mothers in our country are going back to work within two weeks of having a baby. New moms have barely recovered from childbirth, much less had sufficient time to bond with their new baby and adjust to parenthood.

We can do better.

Oregon can become the fifth state to adopt a paid family leave policy. California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island (as well as the District of Columbia) have paid family leave policies in place. Passing a paid family leave policy in Oregon will help build national consensus that caring for family during hard times is good for everyone.

The Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act (HB 3087) would create an insurance program so that workers can care for their families during events such as the birth of a child, a major illness, or caring for a parent.

Women still provide the majority of unpaid caregiving within the home, whether it is for a child or for an elderly parent. Women are also the primary or co-breadwinner in more than two-thirds of families.

This bill addresses this problem by structuring the insurance program such that low and middle-income workers are able to retain a significant percentage of their income while taking care of family. All families deserve the dignity of being able to care for a loved one and not risk losing their source of income.

Paid family leave is good for families, workers, kids, parents, seniors, women, communities of color and employers—all Oregonians.

  • Take Action! Write your state legislators asking them to support the FAMLI Act.
  • Learn more about Time for Oregon—Oregon’s campaign for paid family and medical leave for all.