By: Gabrielle Avellaneda
Family Equality is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ families have the time they need to care for themselves and their families. Fortunately, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program is a part of Congress’ and the Biden-Harris administration’s #BuildBackBetter proposal! With this national, federally funded program, people can manage their health and the health of their families. Keep reading to learn more about how #BuildBackBetter legislation can help our families—and what you can do to support it.
What does the #BuildBackBetter paid family and medical leave program do?
The program ensures workers receive partial wage replacement to take time to:
- Bond with a new child,
- Care for a seriously ill loved one,
- Deal with a loved one’s military deployment,
- Find safety from sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence,
- Heal from their own serious illness, and
- Take time to deal with the death of a loved one.
Furthermore, the proposed program guarantees 12 weeks (or 60 days) of paid parental, family, and personal illness leave.
How would a paid family and medical leave program help LGBTQ+ families?
Our families need paid family and medical leave programs. In fact, 37% of working LGBTQ+ adults report not having access to paid family or sick leave through their employer. And, in a nationally representative survey, only 48% of respondents reported that their employer’s policies cover new parents of all genders equally. Only 49% said that the policies are equally inclusive of the many LGBTQ+ paths to parenthood.
Additionally, this plan is inclusive of chosen family (or “families of affinity“). The plan’s broadened definition supports the many LGBTQ+ people who rely on their chosen family for caregiving support. After all, according to a nationally representative survey from the Center for American Progress:
- 29% of LGBTQ+ respondents reported that they would be most likely to turn to a partner to whom they are not legally married for care if they needed to “take time off work for health-related reasons”
- One-third of LGBTQ+ respondents reported they would be very likely to rely on friends or chosen family members for support when experiencing a “health-related need”
- 63% of respondents who were working reported having been called on for support by a close friend of chosen family member experiencing a health-related need
What can you do to help?
In summary, the bold solutions outlined above will help all families survive and thrive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we need your help to get this plan enacted! Use this simple tool to urge Congress to address the needs of LGBTQ+ people, families, and communities by supporting #BuildBackBetter legislation!
Tell Congress to Support LGBTQ+ Families with #BuildBackBetter Legislation
Urge your Congressmembers to fight LGBTQ+ poverty with comprehensive solutions!