Business & Lobbying

Twitter, Airbnb among companies joining push for paid leave program

Richard Drew / Associated Press
The logo for Twitter appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 29, 2021. Elon Musk has a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter and wants to buy the company and take it private.

Several high-profile companies, including Twitter, Airbnb, Reddit and DoorDash on Wednesday joined a coalition pushing Congress to enact a national paid leave program.

More than 350 businesses worth more than $750 billion are now pressing lawmakers to pass paid leave legislation, according to Paid Leave for the U.S., an advocacy group that helped organize the coalition.

“This reaffirmation of support for national paid family and medical leave from hundreds of businesses, large and small, from across the country makes it plain that the business community is committed to the fight for paid leave for the long haul,” Paid Leave for the U.S. senior adviser Orli Cotel said in a statement.

The lobbying effort comes as Democrats attempt to revive parts of the Build Back Better Act, which included a measure to guarantee workers four weeks of paid leave to raise a new child, recover from a serious illness or care for a sick family member. The U.S. is the only developed nation that does not guarantee paid family leave to its workers. 

The coalition of businesses, which includes Levi Strauss & Co., Pinterest, Spotify and Salesforce, is stressing that a national paid leave program would improve employee retention and morale at a time when companies are struggling to find and keep workers.

“Paid leave policies make businesses stronger,” said Anna Walker, vice president of public affairs at Levi Strauss & Co. “Establishing national paid family leave is a critical element of boosting our economy.”

Advocates will have to convince Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who opposed paid leave’s inclusion in Democrats’ spending bill before ultimately opposing the entire package earlier this year, dooming its chances in the 50-50 Senate. 

Manchin reiterated Tuesday that social programs shouldn’t be included in any bill that goes through budget reconciliation, making it unlikely that proposals to expand paid leave or child care would make it into a revised Democratic spending package.

“I said no. Social programs go through the committee. We’re not talking about going down that path again,” Manchin told reporters. 

Tags Airbnb Build back better DoorDash Joe Manchin Levi Stauss & Co. paid leave Pinterest Reddit Salesforce Spotify Twitter

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