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NBM 2013 Week 2: Paid Family Leave

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Tell Congress the Time is NOW for Paid Family Leave

The percentage of women in the U.S. workforce has increased dramatically over the last century. With more than half of all mothers with children younger than 12 months employed, breastfeeding families are facing significant challenges. Employed mothers are at particular risk for not meeting their own breastfeeding goals.

Rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration are higher in employed women with access to longer maternity leave[1][2], but taking leave is simply not an option for many families. Unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides important job protections, but it is available to fewer than 50 percent of workers—and many can’t afford to take it.

Set to be introduced into Congress this fall, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) would create a national insurance program that would support workers and businesses by providing eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for their own serious illness or that of a child, parent, or spouse; the birth or adoption of a child; the injury of a family member in the military; or exigencies arising from a servicemember's deployment. This program would apply to workers in all companies, no matter their size.

Based on successful programs in California and New Jersey, the FAMILY Act would be entirely self-funded by employer and employee contributions of two-tenths of one percent of a worker's wages. It would apply to all workers who qualify for Social Security disability benefits, regardless of age, full-time status, or income level, providing benefits equal to 2/3 of an individual’s typical monthly wages, up to a cap.

Access to paid family leave is linked to greater income stability for families, reduced employee turnover and worker replacement costs for employers, and a reduced need for public assistance. More people staying in their jobs means more people paying taxes. Women with longer maternity leaves are more likely to combine breastfeeding and employment.[1] In a survey of 712 mothers, each week of maternity leave increased the duration of breastfeeding by almost one-half week.[2] For all of these reasons, The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding calls for the establishment of paid maternity leave for all employed mothers.

That's why we need YOUR help building support for paid leave and gaining original co-sponsors for the FAMILY Act. Help us tell Congress how paid leave benefits families, employers, and the economy!.

There are two easy ways to take action:

  1. Tweet key Congressional targets: Click on the "Tweet now" links below to send customized Twitter messages to priority members of Congress. With Twitter, you don’t have to be limited to only your legislators: consider sending messages to legislators from several states in your region, or to those that are starred (key committee members). Note: If you don't already have a Twitter account, the links will first walk you through easy account setup steps.
  2. Visit your legislators while they are home "in district" during the August Congressional recess: The USBC, MomsRising, National Partnership for Women & Families, and National WIC Association hosted the "Action for the Summer Recess" webinar on August 8. Access the recording, slides, and toolkit materials to find everything you'll need to prepare for a visit with your legislator.

Customized Twitter Message Tool

Message 1: In CA, access to #PaidLeave doubled the median duration of #breastfeeding http://bit.ly/19dls8G #NBM13 #PaidLeaveNOW

Message 2: #PaidLeave helps new moms establish #breastfeeding w/o risking econ security http://bit.ly/13RvwQc #NBM13 #PaidLeaveNow

Message 3: "My maternity leave was crucial to my #breastfeeding success" http://bit.ly/16DdUf2 #NBM13 #PaidLeaveNOW

  Target Legislator State-District Twitter Handle

Message 1

Message 2

Message 3

Senator Max Baucus MT *doesn't use Twitter Post a message to Facebook
Rep. Xavier Becerra CA-34 @repbecerra Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Michael Bennet CO @SenBennetCo Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Diane Black
TN-06 @RepDianeBlack
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Earl Blumenauer
OR-03 @blumenauermedia
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Charles W. Boustany
LA-03 @RepBoustany
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Kevin Brady
TX-08 @RepKevinBrady Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator Sherrod Brown
OH @SenSherrodBrown Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Richard Burr NC @senatorburr Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Maria Cantwell
WA @US_Sen_Cantwell Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
MD @SenatorCardin Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Thomas R. Carper
DE @SenatorCarper Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Robert P. Casey
PA @SenBobCasey
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator John Cornyn
TX @JohnCornyn Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Michael D. Crapo ID @mikecrapo Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Joseph Crowley
NY-14 @repjoecrowley
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Danny K. Davis
IL-07
*doesn't use Twitter Post a message on Facebook
  Rep. Rosa DeLauro
CT-03
@rosadelauro Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Lloyd Doggett
TX-35 @RepLloydDoggett
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Richard Durbin
IL @SenatorDurbin
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Michael B. Enzi
WY @SenatorEnzi
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
NY
@SenGillibrand Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Tim Griffin
AR-02
@RepTimGriffin Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Orrin G. Hatch
UT
@OrrinHatch Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Steny Hoyer
MD
@whiphoyer Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Johnny Isakson
GA
@senatorisakson Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Lynn Jenkins
KS-02
@RepLynnJenkins Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. Sam Johnson TX-03 @SamsPressShop
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Mike Kelly
PA-03 @MikeKellyPA
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Ron Kind
WI-03
@repronkind Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Mark Kirk
IL @SENATORKIRK
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. John B. Larson
CT-01
@repjohnlarson Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. Sander M. Levin
MI-09
@sencarllevin Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. John Lewis
GA-05 @RepJohnLewis
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Kenny Marchant
TX-24
@RepKenMarchant Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Clare McCaskill
MO
@clairecmc Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Jim McDermott
WA-07
@RepJimMcDermott Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Robert Menendez
NJ
@SenatorMenendez Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Barbara Mikulski
MD
@senatorbarb Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. George Miller
CA-11
@askgeorge Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Lisa Murkowski
AK @lisamurkowski
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Patty Murray WA
@pattymurray Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Richard E. Neal
MA-01
@RepRichardNeal Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Bill Nelson
FL
@SenBillNelson Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Devin Nunes
CA-22
@devinnunes Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Bill Pascrell
NJ-09
@BillPascrell Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Erik Paulsen
MN-03 @RepErikPaulsen
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Nancy Pelosi
CA-12
@NancyPelosi Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Rob Portman
OH
@robportman Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Tom Price
GA-06
@RepTomPrice Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. David G. Reichert
WA-08 @davereichert
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Jim Renacci
OH-16
@repjimrenacci Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Pat Roberts
KS
@senpatroberts Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Peter J. Roskam
IL-06 @PeterRoskam
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  Rep. Paul Ryan
WI-01 @reppaulryan
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  Rep. Linda T. Sanchez
CA-38 @RepLindaSanchez
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  Rep. Jan Schakowsky
IL-09 @janschakowsky
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  Rep. Aaron Schock
IL-18 @repaaronschock Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Charles E. Schumer
NY @chuckschumer
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  Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz
PA-13 @SchwartzAllyson Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Adrian M. Smith
NE-03 @RepAdrianSmith
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  Senator Debbie Stabenow MI @StabenowPress
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  Rep. Mike Thompson
CA-05 @RepThompson
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator John Thune SD @senjohnthune
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi
OH-12 @tiberipress
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Pat Toomey
PA @SenToomey
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz FL-23 @DWStweets Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator Ron Wyden OR @ronwyden
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Todd Young
IN-09 @repdonyoung Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!

 

[1] Arthur CR, Saenz RB, Replogle WH. The employment-related breastfeeding decisions of physician mothers. J Miss State Med Assoc. 2003;44(12):383-387.

[2] Roe B, Whittington LA, Fein SB, Teisl MF. Is there competition between breast-feeding and maternal employment? Demography. 1999;36(2):157-171.