Celebrate Labor Day By Supporting National Paid Family Leave (September 1, 2017)

By Sheryl Sandberg and Rachel Thomas, The Washington Post

None of us should have to choose between the job we need and the family we love. That’s the concept behind paid family leave. It provides a safety net for when life happens — when a baby arrives, a child falls ill, an aging parent needs extra care — and we need to be there. And because it provides income during that time, it’s a game-changer for workers living paycheck to paycheck.

On Monday, Americans will celebrate Labor Day. It’s a chance to recommit to supporting the workers who help make our country strong. One of the most important ways we can do this is by passing national paid family leave.

Right now, only about 6o percent of the U.S. workforce has access to unpaid leave thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. That was a breakthrough law, but it was just a first step. It leaves out millions of workers. It doesn’t cover the range of family and medical issues that we all face in life. And it’s unpaid, which means nearly half of workers who qualify say they can’t afford to use it.