The Coalition for Social Justice is collecting short stories and pictures or videos to make the case for significant investment in a national paid family and medical leave policy, in anticipation of a hearing coming up in DC this session. We aim to make the case for comprehensive coverage through lifting the voices of those who have been impacted by a lack of paid leave. Comprehensive care means advocating for specific improvements to the “Family Act” and passing it into law.
The Coalition plans to use the stories on social media and for meetings with Congressional Representatives, including US Representative Neal; the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Do you know anyone who might be willing to share a story or video? MA’s program is fantastic and everyone deserves paid family and medical leave and families don’t just live in one state.
Please see the instructions below how how to contribute a picture and short story or video. Please share with others, too!
Thanks in advance!
If you are providing a written story, please send a picture of yourself to us. Please email story and picture to Jamil Siddiqui, firstname.lastname@example.org, and include the spelling of your full name in the email.
If you are providing a video, it should be under 2 minutes long and can be shot from your cell phone. Please email videos to Jamil Siddiqui, email@example.com, and include the spelling of your full name in the email.
Outline for Testimony
Hi, I’m [full name] from [city or town].
If I get seriously ill or have an accident, I’m covered because Massachusetts passed a comprehensive paid family and medical leave law, for those who work in our state.
Option A: Family Member who lives in a State Without a State Paid Leave Law
But my (Name Relationship)) isn’t covered because s/he lives in the state of [fill in the blank].
Option B: Someone who is working in New Hampshire or Vermont and lives with you in Mass
But my (name relationship of the person living with you) doesn’t have the ability to take time off to take care of him/her self or to help a family member because (name the state) doesn’t provide paid leave.
Part 3 Important Improvements to make the Family Act inclusive and meaningful.
A national leave policy is important to me because [fill in the theme].
Theme 1: Wage Replacement
an individual/family shouldn’t lose everything they have because of a serious illness or accident. A generous wage replacement like Massachusetts’ will give people the opportunity to heal and keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table and avoid bankruptcy.
Theme 2: Job Protection
an individual/family shouldn’t lose everything they have because of a serious illness or accident. Ensuring that a worker has job protection will give people the opportunity to heal instead of going back to work prematurely because of the fear of employer retaliation.
Theme 3: Covered Family
an individual/family should be able to take care of those they love when a serious illness or accident occurs. The current unpaid federal family leave law has a narrow and unrealistic definition of family. They don’t include domestic partners, grandparents, siblings and more. The government shouldn’t define our primary relationships.
Theme 4: Definition of a Covered Worker
We need to expand the definition of covered workers because not everyone pays into social security, including many public sector workers like teachers.
We need to set a national standard for paid family and medical leave. Please remember my story because there are many other (couples/family members) like mine who deserve the dignity and need the security that a comprehensive national paid leave law will provide.