For Immediate Release

Apr 11, 2024


White House Panel Discusses Paid Leave, Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers

Washington, DC – Today, Family Values @ Work Network member Juliana Brown gave remarks at the Celebration of Care panel at the White House to discuss the importance of a federal paid family and medical leave program. 

“Congress must pass a federal paid family and medical leave benefit,” said Brown. “President Biden has proposed a plan that is comprehensive, offering 12 weeks of paid leave. It would cover the many reasons people have to be absent from work and allow people to take leave for whoever they call family which, as an immigrant, extended family is so important to me. Not enacting national paid leave will leave me and my family out,” said Brown.

As a nurse and resident of Houston, Texas, Brown knows how important it is to have paid leave. Texas currently has no paid leave program and many people are forced to decide between taking care of their loved ones or losing employment. 

“Take paid leave,” said President Biden in his April 9th remarks on the Care Economy. “We’re the only advanced economy in the world not to guarantee paid leave.  We’re going to change that. That means to help a loved one, many folks have to leave work to find out later that they’ve been fired. In the United States of America, no one — no one should choose between caring for a parent who’s raised them, a child who depends on them, or a paycheck that they need. That’s not why it should be — the way it should be. Look, more often than not, from childcare to eldercare to the lack of paid leave, it’s women who bear the brunt,” said President Biden.

Today’s event highlighted just how important it is to have a federal paid leave program so that people across the country are no longer forced to choose between family or work when taking care of themselves or a loved one. 

“This country tells us that if we do everything right, we will be ok,” said Brown. “That’s not the reality. We should all be able to take care of our own health or care for a loved one without compromising our ability to make ends meet. Having time off to seek medical treatment, rest, recover, and give or receive care without worrying about missed pay is a moral imperative,” said Brown. 

(Watch the full panel discussion.)

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Family Values @ Work is a movement network of grassroots organizers and coalitions in more than two dozen states working toward economic, racial and gender justice. We have built power in key states and localities focused on winning policies that support workers and families including paid family and medical leave, earned sick and safe days, and affordable, high-quality childcare at the state and national levels.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash