Giving Oregon Families Time to Care
Perhaps nothing says more about what a family is than the act of caring for each other. It begins from the moment after birth, when parents welcome the baby. It takes place when a family member stays with a seriously sick family member to make sure she gets better. And it happens when a son or daughter takes their ailing, aging parent to see a doctor.
Most of us will provide care to our families at critical moments in our lives. But we may also be seriously sick or injured ourselves and may need paid time away from work to recover (or rely on others to care for us!).
Sadly, today, only some workers have a right to take unpaid leave for the birth or new adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill family member or recover themselves. Those who don’t have job-protected, unpaid leave (through FMLA and OFLA) can lose these job during these key life events. And many of those who have the right to such time off cannot afford to do so because the time is unpaid.
Paid family and medical leave insurance is a long-overdue policy that will allow family members to care for each other. Programs like this exist already in 4 other states (and much of the world). They operate like other social insurance programs (Social Security or Unemployement Insurance). Small contributions by employers and employees are pooled and then when an employee has a qualifying reason for paid family and medical leave, they apply for wage replacement from the state program. This program has been shown to be a win-win for employees, families and employers.
For more information, visit Time for Oregon – our campaign to win paid family and medical leave insurance.
- Protecting Workers and Their Families with Paid Family Leave and Caregiving Credits, a 2012 report from the Center for American Progress
- All about the California Paid Family Leave program
- Moms (and Dads) in the United States Still Lack Access to Paid Family Leave, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)