Testify in Support of Paid Family & Medical Leave

Public Hearing Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

On March 8th the Legislature’s Labor & Public Employees Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 221, An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave. The hearing will begin at 1 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. It’s critical that we show a ground swelling of support for this bill and we encourage you to submit testimony, either in person or in writing (if you can’t attend).

You can easily submit your testimony to the Committee electronically by emailing it to: LABtestimony@cga.ct.gov. If you’d like to testify in person but need help getting signed up please email us at mgranato@cwealf.org.

Talking Points

  • Be Personal. First and foremost talking about your own personal experience is the most impactful. If you’ve had a negative or a positive experience with paid family leave that should be the story you tell in your testimony. Did not having paid family & medical leave when you needed it for the birth or adoption of a child, for your own serious illness, for your child’s serious illness, or to care for an elderly parent hurt you somehow? Did you suffer economically and/or emotionally? Dive into your personal experience as it’s likely to be the most compelling to legislators.
  • Connecticut has historically been a leader on paid leave issues. CT was one of the first states in the country to pass our own Family & Medical Leave bill and was the first to pass paid sick days legislation. We have a tremendous opportunity to be a leader on paid family & medical leave and set a tone for the rest of the country.
  • FMLA is not working for most people. While the passage of the Family & Medical Leave Act was groundbreaking in the early 90’s, it’s not working for most employees. Seventy-eight percent of those eligible for FMLA don’t take it because it’s unpaid and many employees aren’t even eligible for this unpaid leave because their employer doesn’t meet the size threshold.
  • Enormous Benefits for All Employees. When employees have access to paid family & medical leave and know that they can take time off when they need it most, they are happier and more productive in the workplace.
  • No Cost to Employers. The system that’s being suggested would be fully funded by employees with no employer contribution. According to The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the cost to Connecticut employees would be very low at just about one half of one percent of someone’s income.

If this is the first time you’re writing testimony for a legislative hearing, feel free to view a few pieces of testimony from last years hearing: