Multiple groups back Gov. Cuomo’s plan for paid family leave in NY

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — 17 different groups have now joined Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to provide 12 weeks of paid leave to workers in New York who need to time to care of children or family members.

If enacted into law, the proposal would be the longest benefits period of this type in the nation — double the length of any other state’s paid leave program.

“If a loved one is sick or dying, or if you have a new child, you should be able to take the time to support them without risking your family’s basic economic security. Everyone deserves that decency,” said Governor Cuomo. “This is an issue of basic fairness for working families – and that’s why I’m proud to be fighting for paid family leave. We’re going to say to the rest of this nation you follow New York to a fairer future for all of us.”

Current federal law only provides unpaid family leave. Cuomo says approximately 60 percent of workers are covered by the federal unpaid plan. He also says 88 percent of American workers have no access to paid family leave.

Cuomo’s paid leave proposal wants to make it so that after a short ramp-up period, workers would be able to collect 67 percent of their average weekly wage, with a maximum of 67 percent of New York’s average weekly wage. The state’s average is estimated to be more than $1,000 per week by 2021.

The Governor’s plan would require slight deductions from employee paychecks of an amount that would likely be no more than 60 cents per week.

Cuomo’s goal is to make it so workers will be able to “take vital bonding time with their newborns and provide care to sick relatives.”

The Governor says the plan would help reduce demands on public assistance, help businesses and strengthen the economy. Cuomo hopes the State Legislature will pass the proposal this Spring.

Here are the groups endorsing Cuomo’s proposal:

  • New York State Conference of the NAACP
  • Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
  • New York Communities for Change
  • Make the Road New York
  • A Better Balance
  • Community Service Society
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • LiveOn NY
  • Children’s Defense Fund-New York
  • The Empire State Pride Agenda
  • Women’s City Club of NY
  • Legal Momentum
  • Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly/ACACIA Network
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • New York City Mission Society
  • Coalition for Asian American Children & Families
  • United Way of New York City

“Paid family leave is crucial to building a society that actually supports working families – and it is absolutely vital if we want to break down the barriers that have held low-income families, minority families, and women-led households back for too long,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Organizations. “Governor Cuomo’s 12 week proposal is exactly what we need to accomplish that goal, and I am proud to sign on to his campaign and fight to make sure this proposal becomes reality.”

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