On April 1st I got an email that said
After a long week and a long night the Senate just voted to pass the strongest paid family leave bill in the country and we expect the Assembly to do the same this afternoon.
I’m not going to lie, I might’ve shed a tear…
WE DID IT! New York has joined the few states in the country that actually give paid leave to its parents, and I couldn’t be happier.
For months I have been working to highlight this issue in any way I can, most recently working with the NY Family Leave Coalition on social media advocacy, mostly through Twitter and Facebook. (Check out this hilarious post: “No Paid Leave in the USA?” How the Rest of the World Reacts in GIFs
— timetocareny (@timetocareny) April 1, 2016
Here are some impportant facts to know about this huge victory for families in NY!
- The passage of 12 weeks of paid family leave is a momentous victory for New York’s families.
- NY joins California, NJ and Rhode Island offering paid leave to its families.
- NY’s paid leave law will be the most progressive, offering 12 weeks at 2/3 pay by the time it is fully implemented.
- It won’t take effect until January 1, 2018 and will be phased in: 8 weeks in 2018, 10 weeks in 2019 and 2020 and 12 weeks in 2021.
- The law provides 12 weeks to care for a new child or a seriously ill loved one.
- It will offer job protection to workers.
- All 6.4 million private sector workers in New York who currently lack access to paid family leave will have access to this program.
- Paid leave insurance program will be paid entirely by employee contributions; which means zero out of pocket costs to employers.
Personally, I’d like to thank The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign, whom I had the pleasure of working with and A Better Balance, which has been fighting for years to improve conditions for mothers in the workplace.
For more information, you can check out A Better Balance and also sign up for their free webinar happening on April 13th at 4pm!
OF course, the fight is not over— there are 50 states in the USA and at this point only 3 of them have paid leave, 4 with NY (which starts in 2018). If you live in one of those states that does NOT offer paid leave, I urge you to continue the fight until all parents in all states have the rights and protections that women in practically every single other country have, the right to bond and take care of their newborn!
We must not stop until everyone has access to paid leave, support the passage of the Family Act! For more information on the campaigns happening around the country click here.