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Big Win for Kids in NY with Paid Family Leave Law

Congratulations to our New York advocates for their "For Kids" legislative victory on paid leave!

We did it! Governor Cuomo and the New York legislature listened to your voices and the concerns of so many New Yorkers and signed into law on April 4 the strongest paid family and medical leave law in the country. This major achievement for kids and families could not have happened without the outpouring of support from grassroots advocates like Common Sense Kids Action members and other concerned people throughout the state and the nation.

This new state law, only the fourth in the country to guarantee paid family and medical leave, ensures that all workers in New York will, gradually, be guaranteed 12 weeks of job-protected paid family and medical leave at a benefit level equal to two-thirds of a worker's wage.

Paid leave is a top priority for Common Sense Kids Action, as research shows that giving working families critical time to spend with newborn and newly adopted kids benefits their children's long-term development. Paid family leave:

  • allows parents of a newborn or newly adopted child to have critical bonding time;
  • helps with children's emotional and cognitive development;
  • speeds up sick children's recovery time and reduces future illnesses;
  • increases the likelihood that newborns will receive regular pediatric checkups and immunizations;
  • encourages more mothers to breastfeed and to continue breastfeeding for approximately twice as long as those who do not take leave; and causes men who take two or more weeks off after the birth of a child to be more involved with their new children than fathers who do not take any leave.

We support state-paid family leave efforts in other states, like in Massachusetts, Illinois, and California, and we're pushing Congress to pass national paid family leave legislation. We need your help to make paid family leave available to all Americans.

Danny Weiss

Danny Weiss is Chief Advocacy Officer at Common Sense. In this role, he oversees all advocacy operations. He brings nearly three decades of service on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Danny first joined Common Sense in 2015 and returned again in 2020, and has led efforts to close the digital divide, protect children's online data privacy, hold tech companies accountable for online practices that harm kids, and expand access to and awareness of the child tax credit to lift children out of poverty.