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#TheTimeIsNow to Take Action for Paid Family and Medical Leave

#TheTimeIsNow to Take Action for Paid Family and Medical Leave

By Vicki Shabo

On Monday at #MAKERS2016, McKinsey & Company Director Emeritus Joanna Barsh included America's need for paid family and medical leave as one of the top changes that could help women (and men) in the workplace. New national poll data commissioned by the National Partnership for Women & Families shows that nearly four in five likely voters agree that it’s time for a national paid family and medical leave law.

Today, #FMLA23, is the perfect day for action. Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the law that provides unpaid leave rights to many U.S. workers when they have a new child, need to care for a seriously ill loved one or have their own serious health issues and need time off the job. Since the FMLA’s implementation, it’s been used more than 200 million times by people across the country. But the FMLA has gaps – 40 percent of the workforce isn't covered and millions of people can’t afford to take leave without pay. Although many companies have recently stepped up with new or expanded paid leave policies, most Americans don’t work for those companies. In fact, only 13 percent of workers have paid family leave through their employers and less than 40 percent have employer provided temporary disability insurance to help them cover expenses during serious medical leaves.

Change is on the horizon and #The TimeIsNow to join in or get more involved. Today, join companies, researchers, advocates and people across the nation on Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtags #FMLA23 and #paidleave. Resolve to take action — at your company, in your community or as part of the national push for the #FAMILYAct, a national proposal for paid family and medical leave.

At 2:00pm Eastern/11:00am Pacific, there's a Thunderclap (register here ahead of time) and Twitter storm. A #FMLA23 social media guide prepared by the National Partnership for Women & Families is here.

Want to do more? You can also share your leave story and send a message urging your Member of Congress to take action in support of paid leave. #TheTimeIsNow!

Please contact Vicki Shabo (, Vice President at the National Partnership for Women & Families, and one of the MAKERS Master Class leaders for more information on paid leave or to get involved in the national campaign.