Titus Applauds Plans to Strengthen America's Middle Class by Ensuring Paid Sick Leave and Expanding Access to Paid Family Leave

Press Release

Date: Jan. 15, 2015
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada's First Congressional District applauded plans announced by the White House today to strengthen the middle class through a bill that ensures earned paid sick leave and new funding in the budget to help more states to create paid family leave programs.

"Today too many working men and women struggle to balance the demands of work and home," said Titus. "As women and men increasingly share breadwinning and caregiving responsibilities, it is important that our workplace policies evolve to meet the needs of today's working families."

In 1965, both parents were working outside the home in 40 percent of America's households with children. Today, both parents are working outside the home in 60 percent of these households. Similarly, in the early 1970s, 31 percent of women with children under the age of five were participating in the labor force. Today, that figure has more than doubled to 63 percent of women with children under the age of five.

"Paid leave is an investment that countless other nations have already made in their families, their economies, and their futures," Titus continued. "Indeed, research shows that family-friendly policies meet the needs of both employers and employees alike. Mothers and fathers have time to care for new babies; adult children are able to take leave to care for a sick parent; and working men and women have the opportunity to address their own serious medical needs without fear of jeopardizing their jobs or their families' economic security. Paid sick days and paid family leave have also been shown to both reduce turnover and increase productivity -- improving employers' bottom-line and strengthening America's economy."

Following are some of the plans outlined by the White House today that are strongly supported by Rep. Titus:

Pushing Congress to Pass the Healthy Families Act. The Healthy Families Act, sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Patty Murray, would allow working Americans to earn up to seven days per year of paid sick leave. No working parent should have to choose between sending a sick child to school in the morning or losing that day's paycheck. Yet there are 43 million workers across the country and 457,692 workers in Nevada alone who currently have no paid sick leave.

Calling on States and Cities to Pass Laws Similar to Healthy Families Act. While Congress is considering the Healthy Families Act, the President will be urging states and cities to pass their own laws allowing workers to earn sick leave. Connecticut and California have enacted statewide paid sick days laws and, this year, voters in Massachusetts supported earned sick days by an overwhelming majority.

Providing New Funding to Help More States Create Paid Leave Programs. Three states--California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island -- have launched successful programs offering paid family and medical leave, including for the birth of a child, benefiting the workers in those states. The Administration is proposing significant new mandatory funding to help additional states develop these key effective programs.

"Over the next two years, I'll continue fighting for policies, like paid sick leave and paid family leave, that empower middle class families and give our working parents the tools they need to be both productive employees at the workplace and successful parents back at home," Titus concluded.