Voters, Candidates Show Their Support for Paid Leave


Candidates and the American people have spoken – and they both want workplaces with worker-friendly policies.

Two studies conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families and announced last week found a record number of candidates mentioned the need for paid sick days, paid family and medical leave and fairness for pregnant workers on their campaign websites in 2016. Additionally, majorities of voters heard about those stands and said they were more likely to vote for candidates who discussed them.

“These studies confirm that voters recognize the importance of these common sense policies and reward candidates who publicly support them,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership. “Despite unprecedented attention this year, there is room for improvement when it comes to the number of candidates who take strong, public stands in favor of family friendly workplace policies.”

As part of the findings, 78 percent of voters said they favor establishing a national paid family and medical leave fund; 58 percent said they would be more likely to vote to re-elect a lawmaker who co-sponsors and votes for a national paid leave law; and some 83 percent of voters in states with U.S. Senate elections in 2018 say it is important for lawmakers to consider paid sick days and paid family and medical leave laws.

In short, there is no downside for elected officials to push these policies, given the polling found a majority of voters in every demographic subgroup said it was important to consider these policies. It also notes that 71 percent said they or their families would face a serious financial hardship if they had a serious illness, new child or had to care for a family member with a serious illness.

While too many companies don’t seem to be listening to the will of their workers, it is good to see those seeking government office are. Let’s make sure those election promises, however, don’t go for naught in the new year. Families deserve a helping hand.