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New FAMILY Act Legislation Providing Paid Family and Medical Leave Long Overdue

March 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Senate Democratic leaders announced a concerted effort to pass the FAMILY Act which would provide paid family and medical leave to American families. According to Senate leaders, the FAMILY Act would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for workers to care for a newborn or adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious health condition.

"For years, LULAC has urged Congress to pass strong paid family and medical leave legislation that benefits our families and communities," said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. "LULAC supports Latino workers and their families, and paid family leave is a crucial part of a fair and productive workplace. Providing paid family and medical leave is critical to ensuring that workers need not make the difficult decision between earning a paycheck and caring for their family."

According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics, people of color are less likely than white workers to have access to paid leave or any kind of workplace benefit which allows workers to care for their family. Under the current Family and Medical Leave Act, only 12 percent of the workforce has paid family leave and less than 40 percent has paid sick leave. Workers who must take time to care for others, but have no paid leave, earn less in Social Security retirement benefits, receive fewer other workplace benefits, and accumulate lower earnings throughout their lifetime.

"60 percent of Latinos in the workforce have young children, yet only 20 percent have paid family leave," said Rocha. "This is unacceptable. We need the strong paid family and medical leave protections in the FAMILY Act to hold employers accountable to the needs of their employees and bring greater financial stability and positive health outcomes to Latino families."

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.

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