News from the Executive Office

Time to Care

The time for paid family leave is now. Baby hand and grandmother hand. We all need time to care—for new babies, for aging parents, for loved ones with health needs or disabilities, or for helping ourselves. Yet many Marylanders can’t take time to care because they lack paid family leave. Only 17% of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave and fewer than 40% have paid personal leave for short-term disabilities. Unpaid leave forces too many Americans, especially those whose needs are the greatest, to choose between income and family when illness strikes, when new babies arrive, or when the needs of a family member with a disability intensify. Nearly 25% of women, for example, take 10 or fewer days of parental leave, potentially putting themselves and their children at risk physically and emotionally. Legislation that will be introduced this legislative session, establishing a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, would make paid leave available to Maryland workers for up to 12 weeks following the birth or adoption of a child and when needed to provide care for a family member or oneself. The leave would be funded through an insurance pool, into which workers and their employers contribute. We need your help. Support the diverse groups who value time for caring. For more information, contact Beth Morrow, bmorrow@marylandfamilynetwork.org.
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