- Yaw Akuffo-Anoff
A Statewide Paid Family Leave Policy Is the Rainy Day Fund Mainers Need.
Without the flexibility to take time off from work, navigating family care needs can be nearly impossible.
Unexpected challenges at home quickly become more stressful when working Mainers have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a sick family member or addressing their own serious medical and mental health needs.
What we need is a rainy day fund that Mainers can use when these challenges arise. That’s what a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program would be. It would ensure people have an extended period of paid time off to care for a new child or a sick family member.
Thankfully policymakers in 2021 worked to establish a commission to help develop a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program. For over a year, members of the Commission on Paid Family and Medical Leave — made up of bipartisan legislators from both chambers, corporate and small business representatives, and health and labor experts — have been working together to develop a PFML program that is unique and attuned to Maine’s needs.
The group will provide its recommendations for consideration in the 2023 legislative session. That means that next year, our lawmakers will have the chance to enact a PFML program to help Maine workers support themselves when the unexpected happens.
It's never been clearer how important paid leave is for keeping our families, communities, and workplaces healthy and strong. Mainers For Working Families urges our leaders in Augusta to deliver a comprehensive PFML program for working Mainers.
No one deserves to miss out on a paycheck because they need to take time off for themselves or their families. Maine’s working families have made themselves clear: the time to deliver a comprehensive, easily accessible Paid Family and Medical Leave program is now.
Learn more about Paid Family Medical Leave in Maine here.