RELEASE: COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Laws Expose the Urgent Need for a Comprehensive, Permanent Solution

Washington, D.C. — Earlier this year, Congress passed the first national paid leave laws as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to provide workers with up to two weeks—or 80 hours—of emergency paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of emergency leave for child care, only 10 weeks of which are paid.

Unfortunately, loopholes and exemptions in the laws allow for as many as 106 million workers to be excluded from the laws’ protections. A new issue brief from the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress examines seven of the lessons learned from the programs—from legislative design to outreach and implementation—to underscore the need for a comprehensive, national paid leave solution. In designing a permanent paid leave plan, the brief recommends that lawmakers:

  • Cover all workers.
  • Include short- and long-term medical and caregiving leave.
  • Provide sufficient duration of leave and automatic triggers.
  • Ensure adequate wages across all types of leave.
  • Allow workers to care for their family and loved ones.
  • Ensure employment protections for workers who use paid leave.
  • Provide effective outreach, education, oversight, and enforcement of the paid leave program.

“Comprehensive paid leave is essential to help workers with caregiving responsibilities and health needs remain attached to the workforce and provide for their families. While the FFCRA’s temporary paid leave program represents an important step forward, this brief details the urgent need for permanent paid leave solutions and how policymakers must design such a program to ensure racial, gender, and economic equity,” said Diana Boesch, a policy analyst for women’s economic security with CAP’s Women’s Initiative and author of the brief.

Please click here to read: “The Urgent Case for Permanent Paid Leave: Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Response” by Diana Boesch

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Colin Seeberger at .