The United States is one of only three nations in the world that does not guarantee paid family leave for working folks. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires larger employers to allow a new parent up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of a child, which means the law only guarantees time off for new parents who can afford to take it. This woefully inadequate law leaves nearly half of working folks without job protection if they choose to start or grow a family.
All people, including adoptive parents and those caring for sick or injured family members, deserve quality time to nurture their children and care for their family members without the fear of financial instability.
In 2017, Washington state legislators passed a historic, bipartisan bill that requires employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid leave to workers who need time off to care for a new child, to take care of a sick or injured family member, or to deal with a personal medical issue. The law also ensures that low-income workers will receive at least 90 percent of their weekly income, making paid leave a viable option for workers at all income levels.
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington was among the leading pro-choice advocates for this important legislation.
Thanks to this historic law, people in our state will be able to take time off to care for their families and themselves without jeopardizing their financial security.