Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

The Case for Family Leave Insurance

Family leave insurance offers a simple solution to one of the most important problems facing workers and businesses in Washington state. It provides a cost effective way to help individuals balance their responsibilities to their jobs and their families while helping businesses remain competitive.

  • Families benefit from family leave insurance by having the time and income to address serious medical conditions or welcome a new child without having a financial crisis.
  • Businesses benefit from family leave insurance because employees who come to work sick and distracted cost businesses $180 billion annually in lost productivity. With paid family leave, turnover and absenteeism go down as does the risk of spreading disease in the workplace.

Half of all workers have no sick leave. For low-income workers, who are least able to afford time off without pay, the situation is worse; almost three in four have no sick leave. Even people with paid leave benefits often run short when caring for a new baby or coping with a serious family illness.

The Economic Opportunity Institute has taken a lead role in the Family Leave Coalition, a group of more than 35 organizations supporting family leave insurance in Washington state. This Blueprint summarizes current legislative proposals and the many benefits of family leave insurance for individuals, families, and businesses in Washington.

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