Virginia Working Families Deserve the Opportunity to Care for Themselves and Their Families without Fear of Financial Disaster

The devastation in our communities from Covid-19 shines a spotlight on the need to support and pass a paid family and medical leave bill. Everyone should be able to take time away from work when they get sick, whether that’s with Covid-19 or something else. Huge corporations and their high-priced lobbyists work with politicians to enact policies that put profits over the people in our community. We need to come together to pass paid family and medical leave so that we can all take the time off we deserve when we’re sick, caring for a loved one, or welcoming a new child to our family. 

People who work hard for their employers should be honored with the ability to take paid time off to care for themselves or a family member. Life is tricky, and health is not guaranteed. Working people need paid leave for a variety of reasons, especially when they are also responsible for caring for young children or elderly relatives. We should be able to accompany loved ones to chemotherapy or radiation treatments or be present when they are gravely ill without worrying about our job security at the same time. Children deserve time with their parents and working people should be allowed to adequately recover before returning to their jobs.

The Realities are Dire For Working Families

  1. Most Americans Don’t Have Paid Family and Medical Leave Only 17% of working people currently have paid family leave through their employers. Low-wage and part-time employees—who are disproportionately women—are even less likely to have access to these benefits.
  2. Families Suffer Twenty-three percent of U.S. mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth. Nearly half of fathers say that their job prevents them from spending enough time with their children.
  3. Those Who Need Paid Leave the Most are Least Likely to Have It. Caregiving roles have most often been filled by women, particularly Black and Brown women, and systemically undervalued and underpaid by our white supremacist, patriachical society. Women are 30% more likely to take time off to care for family members and are often forced to choose between their career and caregiving by taking a less demanding job, giving up work entirely, or losing job-related benefits.

Email your legislator today and demand that they support paid family and medical leave for all of us. No one should have to choose between their job and their family.