Listen to this article

Need paid family leave in Biden bill

Recently, the provision of universal paid family leave was cut from President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better budget framework.

U.S. workers need paid leave now more than ever. If a pandemic wasn’t enough to prove the need for paid leave, I don’t know what is. According to the Department of Labor, in 2018, only 56 percent of workers are eligible for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Additionally, only 38 percent of low-wage workers are eligible under the law.

Where does this leave low-wage workers? Are those people working for minimum wage not entitled to the freedom to have a family or the ability to care for their family?

Everyone, regardless of their income level, has care-taking responsibilities, whether it is to parents, children, partners or chosen family, and should be able to take time to care for others without fear of losing their job or having income.

Right now, there is a drastic need for a universal paid-leave policy to reduce class, racial and gender inequalities in the workplace and society. Paid leave and job protection is imperative for low-wage workers, who need to continuously earn wages to survive. Especially in the face of a pandemic, businesses cannot carry on as usual and employees need to be able to stay home when they or their family members are ill.

LISA GRAFF

Champaign

Trending Videos