MEDIA ADVISORY: Sanders, Gillibrand, DeLauro to Rally with Rail Workers, Mothers, Union Leaders, Advocates, and Colleagues Around Legislation to Finally Guarantee Paid Leave in America

WASHINGTON, May 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) on Wednesday, May 17 will join with colleagues, MomsRising, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, A Better Balance, National Nurses United, National Partnership for Women & Families, Family Values @ Work, Glamour’s 28 Days Paid Leave Project, and Paid Leave For All – as well as workers, mothers, and more – to announce legislation that would ensure the United States joins virtually every other major country on Earth in guaranteeing paid leave to its workers.

Thirty years ago, for the first time in the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitled eligible workers to take job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons – unpaid.

Today, the U.S. remains one of the only two major countries in the world that does not provide paid time off for short-term illnesses nor paid leave for family and medical needs and emergencies. Currently, only 25 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through an employer and 34 million workers lack any paid sick time at all – including 25 percent of the private sector workforce and 9 percent of the public sector workforce. Things are worse for low-income workers and households, and reached a breaking point for millions of Americans during the pandemic. Less than a third of private sector workers in the bottom 10 percent of income have access to paid sick leave. Nearly one in four employed mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth and one in five retirees have left the workforce earlier than planned to care for an ill family member. Estimates report more than 2 million women left the U.S. workforce since the start of the pandemic, many forced to leave to care for their family.

 Rally for Paid Sick Days & Family and Medical Leave

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee
  • Mike Baldwin, President, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS)
  • Sharita Gruberg, Vice President for Economic Justice, National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF)
  • Jean Ross, Co-President, National Nurses United (NNU)
  • Sherry Lewiant, Co-Founder and Co-President, A Better Balance
  • Rachel Shelton, Former teacher, forced out of the profession due to lack of paid family leave, Asheville, N.C.
  • Karina Garcia, Chef, forced to go back to work a week after giving birth, Harlem, N.Y.

When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Wednesday, May 17
Where: Green just east of the Senate Swamp. This rally will also be livestreamed on Sanders’ social media pages.