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NY Business Leaders Launch Petition to Support Paid Family Leave Legislation

For Immediate Release: 
May 22, 2014

Initial Signers Include EILEEN FISHER, UncommonGoods, Manufacture NY and Others

Contact Info
Bob Keener
617-610-6766

NEW YORK, NY (May 22, 2014) – The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) Action Fund, which with its member organizations represents more than 26,000 businesses in the state, and more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, today launched a business petition to show support for Paid Family Leave Insurance (PFLI) legislation. Among the initial signers are EILEEN FISHER, UncommonGoods, and Manufacture NY.

"EILEEN FISHER believes that supporting workers with strong leave plans helps to strengthen our employees, and leads to a more productive and efficient business, which helps at every level. We are proud to support the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance legislation and hope that the State Senate passes it soon," said Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness for EILEEN FISHER.

David Bolotsky, Founder & CEO of Brooklyn-based UncommonGoods, added, "UncommonGoods is proud to support the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance legislation. For us, the business case is clear: the better we treat our employees, the better employees we have, all leading to a stronger bottom line. I urge the State Senate to pass this important legislation, which will benefit businesses all across New York."

"The American Sustainable Business Council strongly supports this legislation,” said David Levine, CEO and Co-Founder of ASBC. “Businesses all across New York State stand to benefit from this important bill. We urge the State Senate to act and are proud to announce the growing coalition of businesses supporting the PFLI legislation."

The petition makes these key points explaining why paid family leave insurance is a win-win for businesses and communities:

  • It reduces turnover and helps the bottom line.
  • It levels the playing field for all employers.
  • It minimizes the burden on employers.

The full business petition may be found here: http://action.asbcouncil.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17091

The legislation was passed by the State Assembly last March and is awaiting action by the State Senate. The bill would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial wages during time taken off from work to care for an infant or seriously ill family member. It would be financed through expansion of the existing Temporary Disability Insurance Program (TDI), which provides partial wage replacement when workers experience an off-the-job short-term disability, including those related to pregnancy and recovery from childbirth.

Currently, New Yorkers have access to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but it guarantees only unpaid leave, which millions cannot afford. Also, the FMLA leaves out at least 53 percent of worksites and 42 percent of the workforce. Currently, only 12 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through their employers, and fewer than 40 percent have personal medical leave through an employer-provided temporary disability program. That means millions of businesses are at risk of increased costs from not having this coverage for their employees.

Editor’s Note: The business leaders quoted here and others are available for comment or broadcast appearances. Contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, bkeener@asbcouncil.org.

The American Sustainable Business Council and the ASBC Action Fund represent a membership network of more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council www.asbcouncil.org informs policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. The Action Fund www.asbcaction.org advocates for legislative change.