Though it may seem counterintuitive, providing family and medical leave insurance when people cannot work due to caregiving responsibilities helps keep people employed. In the short-term it keeps people away from work, but in the long-term it reduces the number of people who have to quit their jobs when they need time off to care for a seriously ill family member or when they have a new child. Paid medical leave serves this same purpose for workers who have short-term but serious illnesses that prevent them from working. (source)
Currently, too many employees are losing their jobs because they need extended time-off from work:
According to a 2012 report by the Center for American Progress:
Workers who have a new child, experience a personal medical emergency, or have an ailing family member often either have to quit their jobs to provide short-term intensive care or lose their jobs because they are unable to take job-protected leave.
When workers have to quit or are fired as a result of needing time off from work, it can take them significantly longer to find another job, compared to workers who are able to remain connected to the labor force.
Those earning the least in our economy—the young, the less educated, and people of color—are also the most likely to have to leave their jobs and to experience a wage-drop after changing employers.
The current lack of FMLI has long-term implications for individuals economic security. Research shows that taking more time away from work—taking longer leaves because there is no paid option—lowers lifetime employment and lifetime earnings.
And too many families are facing medical bankruptcy:
In addition to the potential loss of ones job, many employees are facing serious medical debt. A study from the American Journal of Medicine showed that between 2001 & 2007 there was a 20% increase in the number of people filing for medical bankruptcy. Interestingly, 75% of families filing for medical bankruptcy have health insurance but were still overwhelmed by their medical debts.
A significant contributor to a persons medical debt is the loss of income they experience when faced with a serious illness (either their own or a family members). Paid Family Leave is a needed program that will reduce the number of Connecticut families facing medical bankruptcy.