Politics In Real Life: Paid Family Leave A Big Concern, Not A Top Campaign Issue

By:  Tamara Keith

Nancy Glynn, 27, called it her "NICU diet," but it wasn't about weight loss. It was about financial survival.

When her son, Hunter, was born two months premature, he was 2 pounds, 10 ounces and fighting for his life. Hunter was in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, for more than a month.

The "diet" comes in because Glynn, a waitress, couldn't afford to buy meals in the hospital cafeteria. In large part, that's because that whole time she was out of work, she wasn't getting paid, and — because Hunter was premature — she and her husband hadn't had as much time to save up.

"I thought I had some paid leave," said Glynn. "And then I started looking through my employee handbooks, and I was going, 'Wait a minute. No, I don't.' "

Paid Family Leave has become a frequent topic of conversation — at the playground, in corporate human resources offices and in state and local government. On the campaign trail, it easily gets lost. That's despite broad public support and candidates on both sides of the aisle who have raised proposals for it.

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