Did you catch President Barack Obama's State of the Union address this week? In his annual address to the nation, President Obama said something that truly resonated with me. He called the economic inequality of women "an embarrassment" in 2014, and then said:
"A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode."
I couldn't agree more. That's why I am working hard in Annapolis to pass a bill that provides employees with six weeks of job-protected leave at the birth or adoption of a child. Currently, 46% of Marylanders in the private sector have no guaranteed time off when they have a child!
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not cover people who work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. My bill would change this, ensuring working moms and dads can take unpaid time off to recover from childbirth and bond with their new children. It also levels the playing field between the majority of small business owners who are voluntarily giving their valued employees time off for childbirth, and the few bad apples who are stuck in the "Mad Men" era.
I hope you will join me in supporting this legislation. Please know that you can always contact me on this issue and others.
P.S. - If you run a small business in Maryland that voluntarily gives time off to new parents and would like to speak up in support of family leave standards in Maryland, please get in touch at email@example.com! I am developing a list of businesses that support this commonsense policy.
I was honored in joining Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in promoting a legislative agenda on family economic security at the "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families" event.