Paid Leave

Due to a widespread lack of paid family and medical leave, workers have to make difficult choices between their careers and their caregiving responsibilities precisely when they need their paychecks the most, such as following the birth of a child or when they or a loved one falls ill. This lack of choice often leads workers to cut their leave short. It can also lead workers to forgo much-needed pay, leave the labor force altogether, or make poor-quality care arrangements for their children or other loved ones.

Our current lack of paid family leave requires workers to make impossible choices between work and family and hampers their economic security, and this burden clearly falls disproportionately on women. However, the solution to this problem is achievable: some individual companies have implemented their own family leave policies, almost all industrialized nations have a comprehensive national paid family leave program, and a small number of states have created successful family leave insurance programs. EARN groups are working to expand access to paid leave through all of these channels. In some cities and states, they are working on laws that would require employers to provide their employees with paid family leave. In others, they are helping to craft government insurance programs that would supplement wages during leave, and encouraging federal lawmakers to consider similar programs nationwide.


Lawmakers Agree On Paid Family Leave, But Not The Details

“The only way to make these programs universal, the only way to be sure that the waitress or the retail clerk has access to these programs, that every child gets the benefit of having a parent at home, that every elder has loving family surrounding them in their last days — the only way to do that is through social insurance,” said Economic Opportunity Institute Policy Director Marilyn Watkins.

The Road to Winning Paid Family and Medical Leave in Washington

In this era of hyper-partisanship, how did we pass a major new program through Washington State’s sharply divided Legislature? There was no secret formula: For nearly two decades, we prepared, organized, sought new allies and listened to skeptics. We were willing to rethink policy and incorporate new ideas. We built the power and unity that pushed the issue to center stage. When the opening came, we were ready and seized it.

Laying the Foundation: A Wealth-building Agenda for Georgia Women

Building and growing the wealth of women is a necessary concern for Georgia lawmakers striving to keep the state growing and prospering. Women are a majority of Georgia’s adult population and are the primary or co-breadwinners in more than half of Georgia households with children. Women help shoulder the weight of well-being for Georgia’s families, businesses and the economy as a whole now more than ever. This report offers three strategic policy solutions Georgia can pursue to strengthen the financial foundation for the state’s women: paid family leave, support for homeownership and increased entrepreneurship.