Professors press Congress on paid leave

Professors press Congress on paid leave

Professors from the nation’s most prestigious business schools are banding together to urge Congress to approve a national paid family and medical leave law.

More than 150 professors from 88 schools, including Harvard Business School, New York University Stern School of Business and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to pass the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWhich proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Proposals to reform supports for parents face chopping block Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-N.Y.), would establish a national paid family and medical leave insurance program. 

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In their letter, the professors said America’s future business leaders are "deeply concerned" about business policies and practices that too often discourage or prevent women and men from taking the time they need to care for their families.  

“It is time to ensure that the entire United States workforce has access to paid family and medical leave,” their letter said. “The nation must adopt a policy built for the populations and workforces of today and tomorrow, one that recognizes that entrepreneurship, mobility and care needs are all on the rise but so is the creation of low-wage jobs that offer few benefits to employees.”

The educators pointed to paid leave programs that have been successful in states like New Jersey and California, where the vast majority of employers report seeing either a positive impact on employee productivity, profitability and performance, or no effect.

The letter comes about a week after President Obama signed an executive order giving 300,000 people working for federal contractors up to seven days of paid sick leave each year. The president called on Congress to pass legislation expanding paid sick and family leave to all workers.