It’s time for national paid family leave

UnidosUS joins lawmakers and partners to reintroduce the FAMILY Act, which would help 27.5 million Latino workers

FAMILY Act 2019
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and UnidosUS Deputy Vice President Clarissa Martínez de Castro.

Paid family leave is common practice in all major developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For instance, Finland provides up to three years of paid maternity leave; Norway, 91 weeks; the United Kingdom, 39 weeks; and Canadian mothers get a full year.

But the United States is one of only two countries in the world that doesn’t have paid family leave.

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Under current federal law, the U.S. offers workers 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave for their own serious illness; to care for a seriously ill parent, child, or spouse; for the birth of a baby; or for the adoption or foster placement of a child.

UnidosUS has been a voice to change this, and yesterday we joined Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Danny Davis (IL), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and fellow advocates for the reintroduction of the FAMILY Act.

This bill would guarantee 12 weeks of partially paid leave for new parents and those caring for a sick relative, and enable workers to earn 66 percent of their monthly wages, covering workers in all companies, no matter their size. It would be funded by small employee and employer payroll contributions of less than $2.00 per week.


This is a crucial issue for our community. Only 25% of Latinos have access to to paid family leave through an employer, the lowest rates of any racial or ethnic groups. The FAMILY Act would benefit over 27 million Latino workers. The law would strengthen families’economic independence, support improved health outcomes for children, and reduce the burden on employers.

FAMILY Act 2019

“The FAMILY Act would provide 75 percent of Latinos with paid family leave for the first time and would encourage income stability, and financial independence. Studies have found that paid family leave can contribute to longer parental lifespan, improved mental health and increased long-term achievements for children. That is why UnidosUS is proud to support the reintroduction of a bill that will be transformative for so many working families,” said Jennifer Brown, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS.

You can read more about the impact of these issues in the fact sheets below:

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