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Common Sense Supports Paid Family Leave in New York

Deadline approaching to weigh in on possible passage of strongest paid-leave law in the country

Topics: Early Childhood

Everyone knows the U.S. lags behind the industrialized world when it comes to paid family and medical leave. When a new baby comes along or a family member suddenly falls ill, most Americans are forced to choose between their caregiving responsibilities and their paychecks at a time when money is needed most. Fortunately, for working families in New York, change could be coming.

Common Sense has written to Governor Andrew Cuomo and seven leaders from both parties in the New York State Senate and Assembly, urging them to agree on legislation to guarantee up to 12 weeks of job-protected paid family leave for all employees in the state. With a March 31 deadline, the time to weigh in on what could become only the fourth state in the country to enact paid family leave is right now.

Universal paid leave is good for kids. The first few months of newborns' lives are crucial to their emotional and cognitive development, and paid leave allows parents of a newborn or newly adopted child to have critical bonding time. Paid family leave is also good for kids because:

  • Sick children recover faster and are less likely to suffer from illness in the future when parents can take leave.
  • Newborns are more likely to receive regular pediatric checkups and immunizations when parents can take leave.
  • Mothers who take leave are more likely to breastfeed and to continue breastfeeding for approximately twice as long as those who do not.
  • Men who take two or more weeks off after the birth of a child are more involved than fathers who do not take any leave.

If you live in New York, now is the time to call or write to your state senator and assemblymember expressing your support for guaranteed 12-week paid family and medical leave for all employees. Your voice matters to our kids. If you don't live in New York, share this with your friends who do right away.

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.