Tech Startup Takes the #LeadOnLeave

Earlier this week, Secretary Tom Perez visited Boston to meet with elected officials and business leaders who understand that we need to #LeadOnLeave. While President Obama continues to fight for a federal paid leave policy, states like Massachusetts are leading the way to expand access to paid family and medical leave for hardworking people in the absence of congressional action.

Secretary Perez was joined by Attorney General Maura Healey, State Sen. Karen Spilka and State Rep. Ken Gordon at Tamr, a software company that offers up to 18 weeks of paid family leave to its employees. Tamr’s head of product and strategy, Nidhi Aggarwal, explained the company’s paid leave policy has helped them retain and attract top talent.

Nik, Giles and Tianyu are a few of the Tamr employees who have taken advantage of the company’s paid leave policy. They were all grateful for the opportunity to be home for the first days of their children’s lives.  “I can tend to last minute emergencies at my kid’s school without worrying about repercussions at work,” shared Nik. Like many other employers across the country who are taking the lead on this issue, Tamr understands that paid leave gives a competitive advantage. “Our paid leave policy is not only good for our employees, it’s also been great for our business,” said Aggarwal.

Secretary Perez agrees that paid family leave is not only the right thing for our country, it’s also a sensible economic strategy for boosting labor force participation, something that's critical to sustained economic growth and shared prosperity. It’s a false choice to assume you can either have a thriving business or flexible workplace policies.

However, you shouldn’t have to win the boss lottery to enjoy the benefits of spending time with your family. As a nation that believes in family values, we need to continue fighting for policies that value families. The United States stands alone as the only industrialized nation on the planet where paid maternity leave is not the law of the land.

No parent should have to choose  between the job they need and the family they love. As more and more workers speak out on the need for family-friendly policies, and with the support of businesses like Tamr and elected officials around the country, we can take the #LeadOnLeave.

Mattie Muñoz Zazueta is the press secretary in the department’s Office of Public Affairs.

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Many employers can't afford paid leave, the profit margins just aren't there. If this ever becomes a Minnesota state or a federal law many employers will simply eliminate other employment benefits to compensate for having to comply.

Leave the management of private business to the business owners. State and federal governments were not originally created to manage private business.

Its bad enough that most state and federal employees get more employment benefits than most people and their employers that are paying their wages.

Family friendly policies are very much needed at Packaging Corporation of America in Phoenix, Arizona. Their employees don't get any sick days and get 2 points for every day they call in sick, each point gets erased every 45 days. Employees who accrue 10 points get dismissed.

My husband has worked there for many years now, we have 2 children and I have to always be the one using my sick leave to take my daughters to the doctor. While I understand that their company is based in production, I do think that there has to be a balance. If my daughters get sick while they are at school, I have to be the one leaving work to take care of them, because my husband can't put his job at stake.

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