Unions at Forefront of Paid Family Leave Expansion


The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is working hand-in-hand with legislative leadership to build upon the success of our state’s paid family leave program. The introduced legislation, S-3085, is being championed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senator Patrick Diegnan, who hosted a roundtable discussion at the statehouse today, featuring New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and advocacy group representatives.

“No worker should ever be forced to make a choice between their jobs and their families. By strengthening our state’s paid family leave law, we can do much more to address this moral dilemma,” explained Wowkanech. “There are few policies that equally benefit businesses and workers. Paid family leave is one such example.”

First enacted in 2009, paid family leave provides flexibility to workers to care for their loved ones in need, and ensures that they are able to operate at full capacity when on the job. By respecting both the lives of workers and the needs of businesses, the program has proven to be a major success.

By expanding access to this program, many more families will be able to benefit. The bill being discussed would extend benefits from six to twelve weeks for one year, and increase weekly benefits from two-thirds to 80 percent of a worker’s weekly wage.

Just as the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions led the campaign for paid family leave, the labor movement will continue to be the driving force for policies that benefit all working families in New Jersey.

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