A Plan for American Families and the Economy
Today the Biden-Harris Administration announced the American Families Plan, which includes a historic measure for comprehensive paid family and medical leave. The Biden-Harris plan will ensure wage replacement for workers who need time to bond with a new child, care for a sick loved one, heal from their own illness, deal with the death of loved one or find safety from sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence. The American Families Plan will guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave by year 10 of the program.
This new national paid leave program will address a specific part of our economy that is often ignored but most important for working families, care infrastructure. It is mostly women who are responsible for the caretaking responsibilities whether it’s figuring out childcare, care for elderly parents, staying home with a sick child. Women are the backbone of our families and our economy. And when women’s participation in the labor force is reduced, the economy loses trillions of dollars. We’ve seen the effects of this when the majority of job losses during the pandemic were exclusive to women, particularly Black women.
At Make It Work Nevada, we know the kinds of barriers Black women face as heads and co-heads of households, including access to affordable childcare and paid family leave.
In order to build back better we have to make significant investments in the care economy. And that starts with paid leave for all. While the Biden-Harris plan is monumental and should be passed, we believe it must go further to ensure employment protections for workers who use paid family leave and access for lower wage workers who are often excluded in paid leave plans from private employers.