Shakayla's View on Paid Family & Medical Leave

My name is ShaKayla, and I'm a youth advocate. Today, I’m talking about Paid Family & Medical Leave, which will be an initiative during the 2024 New Mexico Legislative session.

hero_image_alt_text===Mother with child
thumbnail_alt_text===Mother with Child

Paid family and medical leave means workers are guaranteed time off for maternity leave or to deal with personal illnesses/injuries and also family illness.

For example, my aunt was pregnant with her first child and was on medical leave when the baby arrived, so she could take care of herself and her baby. If she hadn’t had medical leave, she would have had to quit her job and likely would have struggled to find a source of income to pay rent, water, ect. She also wouldn’t have had time to bond with her newborn baby if she did not have this amazing advantage.

This is an important topic in today's economy. Here’s how it works: When you or someone in your family is injured or ill, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions will administer the paid family and medical leave. 

Studies show that compared to 22 different countries, the United States has the weakest paid sick days and leave policies, as well as one of the weakest policies for new parents. It’s not a good thing to choose between work and bonding with a newborn, or working and caring for yourself or a family member.

For America to be a great country, it needs to support its people in this area. In addition to benefiting individuals, paid family and medical leave can help businesses. It preserves a job and reduces the impact of having to hire and train a replacement. Because it’s paid for by employees and employers, it reduces the financial strain on smaller businesses, particularly.

Enacting paid family and medical leave in New Mexico would go a long way toward improving the lives of working New Mexicans by improving health.

You can learn more about it here:

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