The Washington State Economic Opportunity Institute is absolutely correct. The United States of America needs to join much of the rest of the world and create paid family leave for all employees – both men and women. The current, unpaid family and medical leave guaranteed under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act for employees who work essentially full-time for a minimum of one year for companies with 50 or more employees is untenable.

The current system in the US allows for time off from work when you have a family medical emergency or the birth or adoption of a child. BUT it’s unpaid. For full-time employees only. And only if you work for a large-size company.

For the majority of working people, this is either unworkable (you live pay-check to paycheck and have no backup income if you take unpaid leave) and or is unavailable.

We need to have full income protection for all employees, not just the 11 percent of private sector workers and the 17 percent of public sector workers in the US who do get paid leave.

Let your Congressional delegation know that you want paid medical leave legislation introduced and enacted into law. This law should provide at least partial income replacement when you need time off from work to take care of a child, spouse, or other family member throughout the lifespan.

Washington Policy Watch

By Lisa Belkin, from the Huffington Post

maternity and paternity leaveAs of this week, a new father in Finland may take 54 days of paid leave to spend with his child. In Australia, a similar law gives new Dads two weeks off to bond.

These are but the two newest countries to provide paternity leave, with pay. All over the world — in places as diverse as Sweden (480 days; yes you read that right), Germany (365), Italy (90), Kenya (14), Switzerland (3) and Indonesia (2) — legislators have realized that time with a child, without worry over a lost paycheck, is a right, not a frill.

And in the US?

You know the answer to that.

As Zach Rosenberg has been highlighting on 8BitDad, companies aren’t required to offer paternity leave here. That is hardly surprising because while other countries are expanding their policies to include Dads, we are essentially the…

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