The arrival of a new child should be a time of pure celebration. Sadly, for millions of working parents in the United States without paid family leave, the joyous occasion can be short-lived. When a new child arrives, many of these parents have to make an impossible choice take the first few critical weeks off of work to bond with their new child, or return to work in order to keep their job and protect their family's economic security.
Some leading business owners have recognized that paid leave has benefits for everyone and established paid leave for their employees. But only 11 percent of workers in this country have access to paid family leave through employers. Fewer than 40 percent have access to personal medical leave through an employer-provided temporary disability insurance program. Too many working parents are left to struggle on their own.
Currently, the United States is the only developed country that does not ensure working parents can take job-protected, paid time away from work to bond with a new child. California and New Jersey are paving the way to a more family friendly nation with paid family leave insurance programs for new parents. It is time for the United States as a whole to follow their lead.
America's working parents and their children deserve better. Ask Congress to support a national paid leave insurance program that would make it easier for all working parents to take the time they need when a new child arrives.