Mandy Moore and Melinda Gates ask for paid national leave

New mom Mandy Moore has joined philanthropist Melinda French Gates in urging Congress to adopt a national policy of paid family leave. Legislators in Congress are debating approval of the Build Back Better Act, a $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that could give all workers up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. But including a paid vacation policy in the final form of the bill is not a guarantee, as members of Congress could decide to remove it from the legislation before it is approved. Urging lawmakers to approve the policy, Moore and Gates called the moment a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“Unless we act, this opportunity could slip away – with huge consequences for women, families and the American economy,” Moore wrote on Instagram Monday. “As a new parent, this issue is particularly close to my heart. ”

Of course, Moore and Gates aren’t the only ones supporting the establishment of a national paid family leave policy. For years, a majority of people living in the United States supported paid time off.

In 2017, a Pew Research Center study found that 85% of Americans believed workers should have access to paid time off to deal with a serious health problem, while 67% believed workers should be given paid time off. to care for a sick family member. Additionally, 82% believed that women should have access to paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, while 69% believed that men should be granted paid leave for birth or adoption. of a child. More recently, a 2021 survey by Invest in America and Data for Progress found that 75% of American voters supported a national policy of paid family leave and medical leave.

“It’s hard in these divided times to find issues that Americans overwhelmingly agree on, but paid time off is one of them,” Gates noted in a recent editorial for Time. “Probably because it solves as universal a problem as possible. At some point in our lives, almost everyone who works will need time off from work to take care of themselves or someone they love.

This includes Moore, who earlier this year returned to work on It’s us just four weeks after giving birth to her son. At the time, Moore had received criticism from those who questioned whether his early return to work “set a bad enough example” amid parents’ continued struggle for paid leave that guaranteed at least a few months of life. leave.

If Congress decides to pass the Build Back Better Act as is, workers will be guaranteed 12 weeks of paid parental, family and personal leave within 10 years of the program launch. As originally written, the program would provide workers with up to $ 4,000 a month or at least two-thirds of their average weekly pay – 80% for lower-paid workers. Under the bill, workers will also receive three days of bereavement leave each year, according to a preview of the bill by the White House.

On Monday, Moore and Gates urged their supporters to contact their representatives in Congress and ask them to keep the paid vacation in the budget. “We’ve never been so close to overtaking #PaidLeave, and we can’t give up now,” Moore wrote. “Don’t let Congress leave women behind. “

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