The 19th: With Congress divided, Democrat-led states may take the lead in expanding paid family and sick leave

January 6. 2023

Policy Director & Deputy Legal Director Jessica Ramey Stender was interviewed by The 19th for an article about state-led efforts to expand paid family and sick leave in the absense of federal action — including ERA 2022 co-sponsored Stronger California bills to make work-leave laws inclusive of chosen family members and to guarantee bereavement leave is accessible to all workers.

Jessica Ramey Stender, policy director and legal director for Equal Rights Advocates, attributes the gaps in federal law to lawmakers not prioritizing families, especially women, who are more likely to be primary caregivers.

“The fact that Congress has ignored paid sick leave and paid family leave harms all working families. But it really has a disproportionate impact on women because women are still often the ones in a family who take time off to care for a sick family member or a loved one,” Stender told The 19th.

“Fighting for policy change in California for women and other working people is critical because it not only benefits women and workers here in California, but it really does often set a blueprint for other states and hopefully, ultimately, the federal government to follow,” Stender said.

Read the article.

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