I got this email from MomsRising.org and am reprinting here in full:
We just got news that the U.S. House of Representatives is likely going to vote TOMORROW on the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (HR 5781). Wow! This is huge! If we pass this bill for federal employees, then we’ll be one step closer to paid family leave for everyone.
Take a moment now to use this easy one-click action link to tell your Congressperson to please Vote YES, and to applaud them for taking a first step toward building a more truly family-friendly nation:
The fact that this bill is getting voted on at all is part of a historic shift. Congress is now starting to take the issues of mothers and families seriously. Kate Kahan, Director of the Work and Family Program at the National Partnership for Women & Families in Washington, D.C. agrees, “We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of family-friendly bills being proposed in Congress–so we expect to see more bills, covering more people, voted on in the near future. We need to do everything we can to let Congress know we support them being pro-active and pro-family. This bill is the first step.”
First federal employees, then the rest of the people in our nation! Everyone needs paid family and medical leave and it’s past time to start putting this policy in place. We know that paid family leave helps provide children with a healthy start and keep families out of poverty. Yet, the United States lags behind every developed country in the world in offering paid leave to new mothers.
It’s time for the federal government to become a model employer by offering their workforce paid parental leave, and to pave the way for the rest of the nation to follow.
With more than 1.8 million civilian employees, the federal government is the nation’s largest employer. Currently, federal workers don’t have any guarantee of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Some have accrued paid sick or vacation time that they may be able to use while on unpaid FMLA leave. However, others, especially younger workers who haven’t accrued sick or vacation time, have no choice but to take unpaid leave.
If passed, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act guarantees qualifying federal workers four weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a new child. It would also enable federal workers to use up to eight weeks of accrued paid sick time immediately following the first four weeks of parental leave.
Urge your elected officials to vote YES for the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, and also forward this e-mail to friends, family, and co-workers and urge them to get involved today!
With the help of MomsRising.org members, New Jersey and Washington state recently made history by passing paid leave policies. Now, we have another chance to bring paid leave to more than 1.8 million working people across the country!
Congress is finally starting to take action on the issues which are so critical to mothers and their families. Let’s show Congress that we’re behind this direction all the way!
Here’s to making history together!
— Kristin, Joan, Katie, Mary, Nanette, and the MomsRising team
A special thank you to the National Partnership for Women & Families for all the amazing work they’re doing on this and many other issues.