Target: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Rosa DeLauro
Goal: Commend congresswomen for proposing mandated paid family and medical leave
The United States has historically fallen far behind other industrialized nations in terms of providing basic paid time off, even for pregnant women or recent mothers; the US is the only industrialized country that refuses to guarantee working mothers paid leave to take care of and bond with their new babies. Existing legislation from 1993 only provides twelve weeks of unpaid leave for workers who have been at a job for a certain amount of time (with other stipulations about the company itself). This law leaves a lot of modern workers without adequate protections to take care of family or personal medical issues — especially considering how many people can find only part-time or temporary work. So Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) decided to do something about it.
The congresswomen recently introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or FAMILY Act, which “would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year to qualifying workers for the birth or adoption of a new child, the serious illness of an immediate family member, or a worker’s own medical condition.” Workers would pay just 0.2 percent of their wages into the system, an average of $2 per week, which would be capped at $227.40 per year; they would then be able to collect benefits at a rate of 66 percent of their wages, capped at $1000 per week, and all of this would be handled within the Social Security Administration as an independent trust fund, so no new bureaucracy would be necessary. The Center for American Progress stresses, “Paid leave is not an entitlement—it’s an earned benefit.” Providing this benefit of guaranteed paid leave to American workers will bring our country closer to other industrialized nations in terms of worker protections, and the FAMILY Act would benefit parents, children, seniors, and the economy.
By signing this petition, you are thanking Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. DeLauro for their support of American workers and families with this proposal. You are encouraging them to continue the fight to provide workers the guaranteed paid leave they deserve.
Dear Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. DeLauro,
Your recent proposed legislation, the FAMILY Act, is a long-overdue protection for American workers and provides an innovative solution for families, parents, children, and the economy. This excellent proposal works within the Social Security Administration so it would require no new bureaucracy, and it acknowledges that American workers deserve guaranteed paid family and medical leave.
Thank you for preparing and bringing to Congress this important piece of legislation. Thank you for standing up for working mothers and families who have little protection in the event of a birth or a medical or family emergency. I urge you to continue to fight for American workers to get this legislation passed as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: US Navy via Wikimedia Commons