Paid family leave: May 24, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

I love following you on Twitter. Really! It’s true! I can’t imagine you’re actually the one tweeting, but sometimes I like thinking about you sitting with your phone, Karen right over your shoulder, trying to figure out how to make your administration’s latest BS sound logical in 140 characters or fewer. 

Here’s a recent retweet from your account:

Ok, let’s not even talk about how if you were putting American families first, you’d provide them with some healthcare. We’re moving past that (just for the moment).

What I’m really interested in is this idea of a paid family leave initiative.

Yes, it’s true. Your budget proposes some paid family leave. Six weeks. It’s run through state unemployment insurance.

Here’s some problems:

  • Likely not everyone who needs it will be qualified to receive the paid family leave. 
  • Unemployment generally only covers up to half of your wages, which is pretty skimpy, especially if you’re a minimum wage worker who lives paycheck to paycheck. 
  • States might not participate. 
  • Because it will be run by states, benefits, eligibility, etc. will vary from place to place, leaving plenty of families with no viable options.
  • Six weeks of leave is bare bones. Six weeks of leave might be enough if you had an uncomplicated vagina delivery. At six weeks postpartum I was still having pain from my major abdominal surgery — and about a third of women have c sections.

For a great analysis, you should read here

Thanks for playing, but try harder next time.


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