On Saturday, May 15, 2021, AAUW and coalition members from throughout Illinois participated in a webinar to learn about the critical importance of Paid Family Leave and how to advocate for PFL legislation in Illinois. This event was presented by AAUW Naperville Area and supported by AAUW-IL.
The event included a screening of the thought-provoking film Zero Weeks and discussion with two distinguished panelists. View panelists’ presentations.
Did you know that the United States is the only industrialized country WITHOUT a federal paid leave law? That’s right, ZERO WEEKS of paid leave is what the USA offers in comparison to other countries, some of which offer up to a year of paid leave.
Many of us may be familiar with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides unpaid leave and the use of paid sick days for our own illnesses or after childbirth. However, even this unpaid coverage is not available to all. Most workers do not have access to pay when they are unable to work due to illness, after childbirth or adoption, after their partner has a child, or when they must care for a family member. Thus, unpaid workplace interruptions frequently occur, and these disproportionately impact women. The consequence of these interruptions over time and in the aggregate contributes to the ongoing gender-based pay gap.
A plethora of research exists to show that Paid Leave legislation benefits families, children and employers. Illinois Senate Bill 835, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, sponsored by Senator Villivalam, has been introduced into the Illinois 102nd General Assembly. This comprehensive paid leave bill has the buy-in of many important constituencies in the state. The time is now to pass this important bill in Illinois and have our state join the nine other states and the District of Columbia with a paid leave law in place while we await federal legislation.