Aging and Caregiver Groups Urge the Inclusion of Paid Family & Medical Leave in Build Back Better Plan
Washington, D.C. -- As the United States Congress continues to refine the Build Back Better plan, the undersigned organizations representing the aging and caregiving communities issued the following statement:
We applaud the inclusion of paid family and medical leave in the House’s Build Back Better Plan, and we urge Congressional leaders to continue working together to ensure this policy is passed into law. Paid leave can support working families, grow the economy and protect our nation's public health.
We were appalled when paid family and medical leave for working families was not included in the framework released last week, dealing a devastating blow to our nation’s 53 million family caregivers who find themselves in the difficult situation of having to choose between work and care for a loved one living with a serious medical condition or disability.
The economic and societal benefits of paid leave are clear. Nearly two in ten employed family caregivers have quit their job and more than four in ten have said they had to go part-time to care for their loved one and nearly half (44%) have had to go part-time because of caregiving responsibilities. Annually, the economy loses more than $20 billion when Americans—primarily women—are forced to choose between their economic wellbeing and caring for a loved one.
Omitting universal paid family leave – that supports care across the lifespan - in the final package would seriously weaken our nation’s ability to address the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, adequately address the long-term consequences of systemic racism and gender inequities that plague families, communities, and our economy.
We will continue to fight for a national paid family and medical leave program to help alleviate the struggle of family caregivers balancing caregiving and workplace responsibilities.
Caregiving is essential work and our elected leaders must get serious about investing in and valuing the essential labor of this growing community.
Alliance for Retired Americans
Alzheimer’s Los Angeles
Alzheimer’s Orange County
American Geriatrics Society
American Society on Aging
APWU Retirees Department
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Autism Society of America
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network
Barth Syndrome Foundation
Caregiver Action Network
Caregivers on the Homefront
Caring Across Generations
CaringKind, The Heart of Alzheimer's Caregiving
Center to Advance Palliative Care
Elizabeth Dole Foundation
FORCE - Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
From The Bottom Up Foundation, Inc
Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color's Interdependence, Survival, & Empowerment
Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc.
Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition
Hilarity for Charity (HFC)
Justice in Aging
Latinos For A Secure Retirement
Lewy Body Dementia Association
LuMind IDSC Foundation
Medicare Rights Center
National Alliance for Caregiving
National Association for Hispanic Elderly
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
National Certification Council for Activity Professionals
National Council on Aging
National Indian Council on Aging, Inc.
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Respite Coalition
National Senior Corps Association
North Carolina Serious Illness Coalition
Ohio Council for Cognitive Health
Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers
The Balm In Gilead, Inc
The Gerontological Society of America
The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders
The North Carolina Serious Illness Coalition
Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement