Author: Angela Romei, Director of Paid Leave, Panorama

It’s Time to Change the Conversation on Paid Leave

I recently had a chance to sit down and talk with Seattle’s King 5 TV News on the passage of Washington state’s paid family leave measure. The bill was passed Friday, June 30 and goes into effect in a few years.  As director of Panorama’s paid leave program, our unique focus is to work directly with large U.S. companies as they assess, design and implement paid leave benefits.

Regardless of a national mandate, state regulations, or benefits offered directly by employers, our position is the same: paid family and medical leave should be made available to all U.S. workers because it makes business sense.

In Washington state and beyond, the conversation is just beginning, and progress is being made. For example, as I explained during my King 5 interview, paid leave is not a “woman’s” or a “mom” issue; every worker has a family member they will want or need to care for at some point in their life. This is a fundamentally different way of looking at this. To create change, we need to change the conversation, and that has to start at the top of any organization.

In my meetings with company executives and HR leaders, most agree their employees need paid leave benefits. Indeed, as the only advanced economy in the world without a national paid leave mandate, everyone agrees something must be done. While we are agnostic in the process that gets us there, we are passionate about working directly with companies to help them provide paid family and medical leave to their employees. We help companies think about and design paid leave benefits that fit their culture and workforce needs.

For more information, including research, a comprehensive step-by-step Playbook, and downloadable tools, visit our dedicated paid leave resource site, The Paid Leave Project or reach out to me directly: angela.romei@panoramaglobal.org.

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