UPDATE: Big Win! - President's Message: It's Time for Paid Family Leave

*UPDATE: BIG WIN FOR WORKING PEOPLE! Click here to read statement. Poll after poll shows widespread public support for a paid family leave insurance program. The Governor has proposed a plan that the NYS AFL-CIO supports, the Assembly has passed the NYS AFL-CIO's program bill and the Senate has included paid family leave in their one-house budget proposal. Now it's time to finish the job. No worker should ever have to choose between meeting family obligations and their job. While the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was a giant step forward nearly 25 years ago, it had flaws, most notably the fact that it is unpaid. This year, we have an opportunity to improve on FMLA, and at the same time break new ground in worker rights, but most importantly, do the right thing. We need to make sure the benefit is affordable for workers and we should ensure that the Temporary Disability Insurance benefit is also increased, so all workers can afford to use the leave if needed. Workers who use the program should also be protected from losing their position and/or retaliation. The benefit should stay at two-thirds of an employee's pay. And while each proposal includes a cap on the dollar amount of what a worker can collect, that should also be at two-thirds of the state's average weekly wage. A lower cap would mean more workers receive lower benefits, making it unaffordable for too many people. Finally, the benefit should last for 12 weeks, cover all employers with a collective bargaining opt-in for the public sector, and it should maintain strong protections ensuring that workers can return to their same job when the leave is exhausted. Mario Cilento, President