Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said families are being forced to choose between caring for a child or family member or getting a paycheck.
And while legislation offering paid leave for both private and public workers has been proposed in recent years, she noted those bills haven’t been taken up.
“And then for the last two years, we’ve seen Republicans in the State Legislature introduce more narrow bills that would provide parental leave just to public-sector employees. So, state employees,” Allen observed.
Allen pointed to the American Families Plan as a major step forward. Under President Joe Biden’s proposal, a national program would guarantee workers up to 12 weeks of paid parental, family and personal illness leave.