Don’t quit for the kids

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There are currently only three states, California, New Jersey and Rhode Island, that provide state family leave for it’s citizens.

Recently, there has been a push for Congress to draft a federal law concerning paid family leave.

Even during World War II, when many women took on factory jobs while men went to war, women were still seen as caregivers, first and foremost.

It has taken many years to get to where we are now, with more and more women in the workplace and more fathers taking part in child-rearing. However, there are still a few hurdles to go.

According to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, on her “Breaking Down Barriers” tour, “Too many moms have to go back to work just days after their babies are born. … And too many dads and parents of adopted children don’t get any paid leave at all.Neither do sons and daughters struggling to take care of their aging parents. None of this is fair to families.”

This has been a major vision for Clinton’s candidacy, focused on creating a national system for paid family leave. She stresses the importance of allowing quality childcare to be within reach for every family.

In California, the state law covers women, men and domestic partners. It is an amazing fact that since California passed their Paid Family Leave in 2002 that there are only two other states that have done the same. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New York will join them effective Jan. 1, 2018.

According to United States Department of Labor, since the program first went into effect in 2004, it allowed workers in California to take up to six weeks of leave time to care for either a newborn, a newly adopted child, or an ill family member. Under that law, employees would receive 55 percent of their wage during their absence.

New York has definitely made an effort to create a strong policy for paid family leave as well, with their base being 70 percent for the lowest-paid earners.

Hopefully the federal government as well as the rest of the states will realize that our gender roles are changing and they need to change with the times.