Businesses Support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act

Business leaders from across the country support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act), federal legislation that would create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program. Three states - California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island – already have family leave insurance programs. Business owners from those states can attest to the ease of implementing such programs, and the many benefits. And businesses in other states are eager for their employees to have access to a national program. On this page, see what these leaders have to say about why family and medical leave insurance makes business sense!

To see quotes from business leaders, click on a state name below. You’ll find quotes from a diverse array of leaders including Tom Nides (Morgan Stanley), Rob Everts (Equal Exchange), Carol Evans (Working Mother Media), Cynthia DiBartolo (Tigress Financial), Paul Orfalea (Kinko’s Founder), and others.

Does your business support the FAMILY Act? Get in touch to join the growing list of employers that support better workplaces — and better businesses.

California District of Columbia
Florida Massachusetts
New Jersey New York
North Carolina Oregon
Pennsylvania Rhode Island
Texas Wisconsin
National Business Associations

 

California

Nancy Andrews LIIF

Nancy Andrews
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)
CA

“What I like best about the California law is that it provides economic security for our employees. That’s a very important threshold for them and for us, because it creates stability in our workplace and it gives them a sense of security that they can adjust as they hit bumps in the road of life. [Paid leave] is a huge benefit to our employees and to their satisfaction in working with us.The Low Income Investment Fund has offices in four different places around the U.S. and having a federal law that would standardize treatment for all employees is something that we think would make our business work even better. “ – Nancy Andrews, President and CEO, Low Income Investment Fund (California)

Jen Benz

Jennifer Benz
Benz Communications
CA

“I do support a federal standard for family leave. As an employer [with…] a team of people who I care very much about, I want to make sure they have access to what they need to take care of their families and take care of themselves. California definitely provides more protection and better benefits than other states. There are certainly challenges for small employers to implement any new legislation, any new requirements. But in this case, I think the benefits far outweigh [the challenges], and I would be very comforted to know that all of my employees and their families have more security when it’s needed.” – Jennifer Benz, Chief Strategist and Founder, Benz Communication (California)

Annette Bonilla

Annette Bonilla
Environmental Science Associates
CA

“Environmental Science Associates (ESA) is headquartered in California, with offices in Oregon, Washington, and Florida.  Among our more than 300 employees, it’s no secret that those at headquarters have a particular advantage:  paid family and medical leave insurance.    After California established the law, we began to notice that our employees who took time off when a new baby arrived or when a serious illness struck were less stressed than those in similar circumstances working in our other states.   Less stressed workers mean more productive workers. We want to see all of our employees thriving in the same way as their Californian counterparts. That’s why we support the FAMILY  Act – a federal law would help employees at all of our locations.” – Annette Bonilla, Vice President and Director of Human Resources, Environmental Science Associates (California)

James Freeman, Blue Bottle

James Freeman
Blue Bottle Coffee
CA and NY

“At Blue Bottle Coffee we believe that workers need time to take care of their own health, to care for family members, or when there’s a new baby. I know I want that for my own family; so as an owner, it makes sense that my 225 employees should have this chance to care for their families too.   We’re based in Oakland. California has a law that provides workers with some wage replacement when they take a leave.  It’s been easy to implement…we do more than the law requires and ‘top up’ with some of our own funds.  We have expanded to New York City.  There’s no state law there yet, but we provide those employees with paid family leave too.  I welcome the introduction of the FAMILY Act – it makes sense to me for a federal law to set a minimum business standard across the states.”  James Freeman, Owner, Blue Bottle Coffee (California and New York)

Paul Orfalea

Paul Orfalea
Founder, Kinkos
CA

“I supported California’s Paid Family Leave law and I support this national version. If we’re not taking care of our coworkers, we’re not taking care of business.” – Paul Orfalea, Founder, Kinko’s (California)

Jen Piallat, Zazie

Jennifer Piallat
Zazie Restaurant
CA

“As a business owner, I’ve long believed in treating my employees with respect and fairness – it’s not only morally right, it also makes business sense. That’s why I invest in my employees with fair wages and good benefits. I reap the benefits with exceptional profit margins and a great reputation. In California, we’re lucky to have had a paid family leave (PFL) insurance program for over a decade. It means my employees can take time to care for a loved one without losing income – and then can return to work, helping my business to flourish. Our state program helps me to offer paid family leave to my employees – another tool for me to retain great workers who are loyal to the restaurant – without having to shoulder the cost by myself.  I support the FAMILY Act, which would help employers around the country to do the same.” – Jennifer Bennett Piallat, Owner, Zazie Restaurant (California)

Vince Siciliano, New Resource Bank

Vince Siciliano
New Resource Bank
CA

“Our business is about advancing sustainability – and that includes sustaining a long-term, engaged, and happy workforce. To do this, we need to think about our employees’ whole lives, including their families and their health. California’s paid family leave (PFL) insurance program has been helping employees do their jobs while caring for their families for over a decade. Policies like PFL support workers and help businesses come out ahead by building a stronger workforce.  We know paid family and medical leave is good for businesses. It’s time to share these benefits nation wide. The FAMILY Act will create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program that will boost businesses and support employees across the country. That’s sustainability.” – Vincent Siciliano, President and CEO, New Resource Bank (California)

District of Columbia

David Deal, Community IT Innovators

David Deal
Community IT Innovators
DC

“We’ve built our business by trying to treat employees well. For 20 years, the FMLA has offered job protection and unpaid leave for some workers. We go further than the law requires, providing paid leave to our employees. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business, enabling us to recruit and retain great staff.  The FAMILY Act, a national paid family and medical leave insurance program, would allow more workers to enjoy the benefits of paid leave.”– David Deal, CEO, Community IT Innovators (Washington, D.C.)

Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn

Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn Bright Start Childcare & Preschool
DC

“For my staff, caring for children is a labor of love, but it is also grueling work. In return for the work they do, I think it’s important to ensure that my employees can care for themselves and their families. That’s why they have paid sick days, vacation time, and health insurance. A national paid family leave insurance program would enable small businesses like mine to also offer workers paid family and medical leave – time to recover from serious illness, care for a sick loved one, or bond with a new child – without requiring employers to foot the entire bill. Parents often ask about staff turnover when they consider which daycare to use. In the 12 years I’ve been running this business, I’ve experienced little turnover and I believe our policies have a lot to do with it. The FAMILY Act would ensure that high quality caregivers can keep their jobs, even when they must take temporary leaves.”– Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn, Owner, Bright Start Childcare & Preschool (Washington, D.C.)

Florida

Julie Norris Dandelion Communitea Café  FL

Julie Norris
Dandelion Communitea Café
FL

My small business, Dandelion Communitea Café, is all about creating a healthy, vibrant, and enlightened community – and so much of that is about our people. I first learned to appreciate the importance of having an empowered and happy staff when I was a manager at Kinko’s, a business that valued it’s co-workers as whole people, with lives in the workplace and outside. Now that I’m a business owner, I want my employees to have the same experience. Being able to take the time you need to bond with a new baby, recover from illness, or care for a loved one is so crucial. The FAMILY Act would create a program that would support small business owners like me to offer our employees this time, free of financial worry. As a business owner, mom, and community leader, I believe a national law like this is long overdue. – Julie Norris, Co-Proprietor and General Manager, Dandelion Communitea Café (Florida)

Massachusetts

Rob Everts, Equal Exchange

Rob Everts
Equal Exchange
MA

“Equal Exchange is a business that is dedicated to fair trade with small-scale farmers in the developing world.  We think fairness needs to extend to our own workers, who bring enormous value to our business – and to their families and communities. Because we see our workers as human beings, who have human needs, we think it’s crucial that they have access to paid time away from work to care for their families and their health. When employees need to care for a sick family member, bond with a new child, or recover from serious illness, they should be able to do so without risking their jobs or financial security. I support the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid family leave insurance program, because it will give companies the capacity to treat their employees right – and ultimately, to build better businesses.”  Rob Everts, co-Executive Director, Equal Exchange (Massachusetts)

New Jersey

Herb Greenberg Caliper Corporation NJ

Herb Greenberg
Caliper Corp
NJ

“New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program has been a huge positive for Caliper. When you think about the cost of individuals leaving, the cost of seeking new employees, the cost of training them, etc., there is just no comparison in terms of the pure balance sheet.  This policy has saved my business money.  The FAMILY Act would bring these cost savings to businesses nationwide. A national family leave insurance policy is good for workers, good for businesses and good for the economy. It’s a no-brainer.” – Herb Greenberg, Founder and CEO, Caliper Corp (New Jersey)

New York

Carolyn Barrett

Carolyn Barrett
Barrett International Technology, Inc
NY

“As a working mom, I experienced firsthand what it is like to have to choose between doing my job and caring for my family. Now, as a business owner, I know how important it is to ensure that my employees have paid family and medical leave. The FAMILY Act will make it possible for me to offer paid family and medical leave without breaking the bank – and it will ensure that my workers don’t encounter the same struggles I was faced with while raising my children.”– Carolyn Barrett, Founder and CEO, Barrett International Technology, Inc. (New York)

Cynthia DiBartolo, Tigress Financial Partners

Cynthia DiBartolo
Tigress Financial Partners LLC
Greater New York Chamber of Commerce
NY

A large number of studies show that childcare, flexible work hours, and paid family leave all have a very high return on investment (ROI).  Moreover, there is compelling evidence that points to the fact that companies can measurably  improve their bottom line by transforming a company’s corporate culture into one of a truly caring organization —which basically means,  putting the interests of their employees first! The FAMILY Act will enable employers of all sizes to more easily offer paid family and medical leave. It will help businesses to do what’s good for employees and good for the bottom line.”– Cynthia DiBartolo, CEO, Tigress Financial Partners LLC and Chairperson, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce (New York)

Carol Evans

Carol Evans
Working Mother Media
NY

“Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies has become a showcase for businesses that understand the importance of making it possible for mothers to both succeed in their jobs and care for their families. When I created it in 1986, that was a foreign concept. Then and now, the winning businesses recognize that workplace policies that support working moms are not only good for families, but also good for business. But this realization is not universal among businesses; only 11 percent have paid family and medical leave through their employers, and fewer than 40 percent have medical leave through short-term disability programs. When the Family and Medical Leave Act passed 20 years ago, guaranteeing some workers access to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, along with many others, I assumed that by now this leave would be paid. But it isn’t, and workers are still struggling to make ends meet when they need to take leave.The FAMILY Act would make it possible for women and men around the country to take paid leave in order to recover from illness, care for a sick family member, or bond with a new child. If enacted, this policy would soon prove to employers what many successful businesses already know: profits and policies that support working families can and do go hand-in-hand.”– Carol Evans, President, Working Mother Media (New York)

Tom Nides, Morgan Stanley

Tom Nides
Morgan Stanley
NY

“Paid family and medical leave is personally important to me. As a father of two in a family where both parents work outside the home, I know how difficult it is to be both a good parent and a good worker. While at the State Department, I watched my staff, who had no paid family leave, struggle to cobble together paid sick leave and annual vacation time in order to take time with new babies. And as a businessman, I’ve seen that demonstrating loyalty and respect for our people reinforces the same in return.A federal law that guarantees all workers paid family and medical leave is critical to supporting our people and economic stability.  I support the FAMILY Act because it is not only good for families and businesses, it also makes economic sense.” – Tom Nides, Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley and former Deputy Secretary of State (New York)

North Carolina

Kevin Trapani

Kevin Trapani
Redwoods Group
NC

“Our 80 person insurance and consulting firm, The Redwoods Group, already provides paid leave.  We welcome the FAMILY Act. We have discovered that when an employee takes paid family leave, there are some unexpected business benefits.  There is the obvious virtue that the employee who takes paid leave is more likely to return and thus save our company the costs of interviewing, hiring and retraining.   In addition, since we cover the work of an employee on leave by sharing it across the team, junior team members get a chance to learn and take on new responsibilities, furthering their development. That’s a hidden plus. A publically administered pool of funds for paid leave, such as the one proposed in the FAMILY Act, would be great for all employees. At Redwoods, we would use company funds to “top up” the amount that our employees would receive from the public pool. After all, our success rests on their shoulders.” – Kevin Trapani, CEO, Redwoods Group (North Carolina)

Oregon

Sabrina Parsons

Sabrina Parsons
Palo Alto Software
OR

“As a CEO and mother, I believe that we need to change norms in corporate America to enable working parents to succeed, both in the workplace and at home. This begins with paid leave – no parent should be forced to rush back to work after the birth or adoption of a child. When new parents get the time they need to bond with their kids, they come back to work as more loyal and productive employees. That’s why I support the FAMILY Act, federal legislation that would help small businesses like mine to offer paid family and medical leave. It’s good for business and for workers – and it may help to spur the culture change that is so needed in our workplaces.” – Sabrina Parsons, CEO, Palo Alto Software (Oregon)

Pennsylvania

Georgia Berner Berner International Corp. PA

Georgia Berner
Berner International Corp.
PA

“As the President and CEO of Berner International Corporation it is difficult to understand the opposition to having a National Family and Medical Leave insurance program. How exactly does it not make sense? Finding and retaining the best and brightest employees is a time consuming and costly function of running a business. To offer benefits that support employees and their families creates a partnership where both employer and employee have a sense of stability and security, employees are productive and healthy,  and U.S. companies are strong and profitable. Berner is the first U.S. manufacturer of air curtains. Air curtains create an air seal across an open doorway that keeps cold air on one side and warm air on the other, saving energy and creating healthy, comfortable environments. Located in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Berner has become an employer of choice in the region, grown to over 65 employees and continues to offer fully paid health benefits to all full-time employees.” – Georgia Berner, President and CEO, Berner International Corp. (Pennsylvania)

Rhode Island

Frank Ferri

Frank Ferri
Town Hall Lanes
RI

“As a Rhode Island State Representative and a small business owner, I supported our state’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) bill, which recently passed. We will be the third state in the country to implement a paid family leave insurance program. I support the FAMILY Act for the same reasons I supported TCI here in Rhode Island: it’s good for families, it’s good for business, and it’s good for the economy. I couldn’t be more committed to getting our economy on track, and I understand the challenges of running a profitable business. As a business owner, I am also committed to supporting my employees. When difficult times arise I am there for them. The FAMILY Act will help all employers to do the same.” – Frank Ferri, Owner, Town Hall Lanes and Rhode Island State Representative (Rhode Island)

Texas

Jade-Chang-Sheppard

Jade Chang Sheppard
Gideon Contracting
TX

“I founded Gideon Contracting in 2005 and we now have five offices throughout Texas and California. Gideon is a thriving and growing commercial and federal contracting construction business. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act’s (FAMILY Act) makes providing paid family and medical leave affordable and a national standard makes sense – my workers in Texas and throughout the country have just as much reason to need pay during a family and medical leave as my California workers. As the daughter of Asian-American immigrants and the mother of two young boys, family responsibility and care could not be more important to me. As a business owner, I know that making sure workers have the time they need pays off in terms of more loyalty and productivity and enhances our bottom line in the long run. The FAMILY Act makes sense for my workers, my business and the communities we work in, and having a national standard makes good sense for all of us.” – Jade Chang Sheppard, Founder, Gideon Contracting (Texas)

Flora Brewer, Former owner, Rhythm Band Instruments, Fort Worth, TX

Flora Brewer
Former owner Rhythm Band Instruments
TX

“When I owned and operated Rhythm Band Instruments, a national and international school instrument distributor, from 1996 to 2008, I always looked for ways to take care of my 25 employees. We paid good hourly wages even for our warehouse employees and worked hard to offer health insurance plans and 5 paid sick days per year, but we could never afford short- or long-term disability insurance. Frankly, when employees had family care and health problems, we knew things were tough for them and we tried to help from our own pockets when we could. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) would provide businesses like Rhythm Band Instruments an affordable way to assure that employees have some financial security during times like that. It would create certainty for employees and business owners alike without putting huge financial burdens on either one.” – Flora Brewer, former owner, Rhythm Band Instruments (Texas)

Robert Loeb General Partner SurePoint Self Storage TX

Robert Loeb
General Partner
SurePoint Self Storage
TX

“As a General Partner in SurePoint Self Storage, a small business, and as a longtime owner of a family-owned welding business with 140 employees, I’ve seen the value of treating employees well. In my 40+ years in business, I have always tried to do business with this principle in mind. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) would help me and other employers do what’s right.

The FAMILY Act’s basic guarantee of paid family and medical leave through a shared-cost approach makes sense. In this Act, both costs and paid leave benefits are shared by both workers and their employers. And as a person who believes in work, I appreciate that the FAMILY Act is for working people and encourages workforce attachment. Making sure employees have money to afford the basics is good for business and good for the economy. It is time to make paid leave through the FAMILY Act a national standard.” -Robert Loeb, General Partner, SurePoint Self Storage (Texas)

Wisconsin

Sara F. Sanderson, Former Owner, People's Telephone Company, WI

Sara F. Sanderson Former Owner
People’s Telephone Company
WI

“When I took over my family’s small rural telephone company in Wisconsin in 1991, I wanted to continue our family tradition of doing right by our workers. We offered paid sick time, decent wages and other benefits, but there was no way for us to offer paid family and medical leave when our employees needed an extended time away from work to care for a newborn, an ill loved one or their own serious health problem. The FAMILY Act could have really helped us and our people. The small, shared cost of the paid family and medical leave insurance would have been well worth it to our company in terms of maintaining our workforce and meeting our workers’ needs. I wholeheartedly support the FAMILY Act and believe that if businesses look at their bottom lines, the benefits will be clear.” Sara F. Sanderson,  former owner, People’s Telephone Company (Wisconsin)

National Business Associations

John Arensmeyer, SBM

John Arensmeyer
Small Business Majority

“Small employers know policies that address family and medical leave create a happier and more productive staff, which in turn leads to increased profits. What’s more, these type of policies help level the playing field between small businesses that want to offer this benefit but can’t, and their larger counterparts that can. Our research shows more than two-thirds of small business owners have some type of policy in place to provide family and medical leave to employees, but they still need help providing it. Small employers understand their staff is not just contributing to the success of their businesses and the economy, but also to the wellbeing of themselves and their families.” – John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO, Small Business Majority.

Margot Dorfman, USWCC

Margot Dorfman
U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

“Women business owners understand that paid family leave is valuable for both families and businesses. Already, workers in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have access to family leave insurance programs. The FAMILY Act will bring this important workplace standard to all Americans,  benefiting both employers and employees. It will reduce costs over the long term and level the playing field between small and large firms. Workers who have access to paid family leave are productive, loyal employees who spare businesses the high cost of turnover.”  Margot Dorfman, CEO, US Women’s Chamber of Commerce

David Levine

David Levine
American Sustainable Business Council

 ”The business case for the FAMILY Act is simple  good workplace policies make good business sense. Family leave insurance helps retain high quality talent, reduces costs, and ultimately improves the financial bottom line.”  David Levine, CEO, American Sustainable Business Council

Does your business support the FAMILY Act? Get in touch to join the growing list of employers that support better workplaces — and better businesses.