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. Two states already have family leave insurance programs – California and New Jersey – and Rhode Island will soon implement its program. 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!

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

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)

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)

Margot Dorfman, USWCC

Margot Dorfman
United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce
DC

“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 (Washington, D.C.)

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)

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)

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)

Carol Evans, Working Mother Media

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)

Herb Greenberg, Caliper

Herb Greenberg
Caliper
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)

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)

Vince Siciliano, New Resource Bank

Vincent 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)

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.)

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)

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)

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.

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

Nancy Andrews LIIF

Nancy Andrews
Low Income Investment Fund
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

Jen Benz

Jennifer Benz
Chief Strategist and Founder
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 Communications