For Main Street businesses, our bottom lines depend on healthy families. At some point in our lives, most of us will need to step away from work to welcome a new baby, care for a sick loved one or recover from an illness. Life events like these shouldn’t be compounded by financial hardship.
Our businesses benefit when employees can care for their families and return ready to work. Paid leave helps reduce turnover and boost employee morale and loyalty, increasing productivity and cost savings for our small businesses.
Paid leave helps increase equity, as well. Workers and business owners of color have less financial cushion for taking time off, and they also have more limited access to paid leave. And with most care giving still falling to women, paid leave is an important gender equity measure for business owners and employees alike.
Main Street businesses can’t go it alone. Large corporations wield the market power to offer paid family and medical leave. We don’t.
That’s why we support a statewide paid leave law for Virginia and efforts to create a national paid leave policy. A smart paid leave law will help small businesses and families in emergencies and times of need. A good policy will:
✓ Let workers and business owners take up to 12 weeks away from work to care for a family member, welcome a new child, or recover from an illness
✓ Increase financial security by providing partial wage replacement (at around 2/3 or 65-70%)
✓ Spread the cost of leave through a self-sustaining insurance fund with small employee and employer contributions of less than $2 each week
✓ Help small businesses retain valued employees and create secure, stable jobs
✓ Cover freelancers and the self-employed
✓ Have an inclusive family definition that covers parents, children, spouses, and domestic partners
It’s time for our representatives to give Main Street businesses a fighting chance. Lawmakers in six states have adopted paid family and medical leave to good results for Main Street businesses and workers. We want our representatives in Richmond and Washington build on that success.
Big corporations win when lawmakers fail to act. Let’s level the playing field for small businesses and our workers, and promote racial and gender equity, by passing strong paid family and medical leave legislation.
Sign now to support Paid Family & Medical Leave in Virginia: