Paid leave is a critical component of reproductive freedom, and everyone deserves the dignity and financial stability that it offers. Without it, mothers don’t have the time needed to heal from childbirth, and families don’t have time to bond with their new babies; families may face greater challenges in creating stable and nurturing homes for their children; people stuck in abusive situations must choose between taking time off to heal or pushing through the pain and working people sometimes must risk their livelihoods to care for sick or injured family members.
Paid sick and safe leave is inextricably linked to economic opportunity. When worker are forced to abandon caring for their children or relatives for a paycheck, the whole family suffers.
And yet the United States is one of only two nations in the world that does not guarantee paid leave for workers.¹
Current law is woefully inadequate. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires larger employers to allow a new parent up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of a child. That means the law only guarantees that new parents can take time off from work if they can afford to do so. Not only this, but a lack of provisions that protect safe leave from work impacts those who may be dealing with domestic violence situations, family issues or other time consuming life experiences that may require time being taken off of work.
Paid sick and safe leave is the best way to ensure that all working adults can take the adequate time they need to be able to care for families, bond with new children, be supported in leaving unsavory situations, or accessing the necessary healthcare that they deserve. Supporting a robust paid sick and safe leave program ensures that these things can happen for working adults in Maryland and beyond.
1 International Labour Organization, Maternity and Paternity at Work: Law and Practice Across the World