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.