In a new op-ed published by CNN Business today, Levi Strauss & Co. President and CEO Chip Bergh urges policy makers to pass the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act which would provide every worker in the U.S. up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for their own health, a new child, or a sick parent and spouse.
While the COVID-19 crisis has underscored the importance of paid leave for all working Americans, the need for a national law predates and will outlive this pandemic. Ensuring that everyone can take paid time off to care for their own health, a new child, or a sick parent and spouse – no matter where they live and work in the U.S. – will make our economy and society more prosperous, resilient, and just.
Chip makes the business case for national paid leave, using LS&Co.’s recent experience to show that introducing paid leave doesn’t break the bank for companies. Since we introduced paid family medical leave in January 2020, our policy cost just 10 percent of what we’d projected annually, he noted. Last spring, we also introduced paid sick leave for part-time retail employees, which has helped ensure that our employees were keeping themselves and our customers safe as the stores slowly re-opened.
As President Biden and the U.S. Congress are beginning work on the recovery package, we urge policymakers to include paid leave in it.